15 Days of Focus: Footloose and Facebook free

I am feeling led to focus on what is important…to shift my eyes and my actions to more productive things. What I aim to make 50 Days of Freedom, will start with one step at a time. It will be like building blocks as I commit to break free unhealthy relationships-starting with Facebook and food- and move forward in faith, fitness and friendships. Hopefully the next 50 days will be the beginning of something new and wonderful. I expect challenges, but look forward to growth.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:8-9

Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.

Psalm 119:37

Phase number one…shifting focus. Accentuate the positive- Eliminate the negative.

Fifteen Days of Focus. I know, 15 days doesn’t sound like much- but, with God’s blessing, it will be so much more.

It starts today with the elimination of a major distraction in my life. Facebook.

Today, I will start my quest to be Footloose and Facebook free! This is something that I could talk myself in circles on…what is the value of Facebook? Yes, it can be an awesome tool. I use it to disseminate my blog, ask for prayer, to send encouragement and to keep in touch with family members scattered all over the country. Beyond family, many of these “friends” are acquaintances; they are people I knew in high school, few from college and many more from my teen years in the youth group at church and friendly faces from our current church. A majority of my Facebook friends are people who I am so glad that I have reconnected with and really enjoy keeping up with; even if it is on a superficial level most times. It gives me a sense of community.

The negative side of Facebook is the one I need to ask God to help me with. I find myself browsing it habitually…almost voyeuristically.  It’s easy to let my mind carry me down non-productive paths with thoughts like “why wasn’t I invited to that?”…”looks like they are having fun”…”I wish we could do that”…”that person really hurt my feelings”…”the last communication I had with that person was via email- ripping me for something. Why are we friends again?”…and even trips down memory lane that aren’t memories I want to dwell on at all. Browsing some of these posts and seeing some of these people churns up a lot of hurt. Growing up, I was picked on a lot. I am not just talking about in my childhood; I am talking about Elementary years all the way through college. Everything from my weight to my sin were used as fodder when it came to insulting me and tearing me down. Yeah, yeah…do NOT insert sob story here. I am not a victim and refuse to be. Truth be told: I was an easy target. While many times the insult was juvenile and plain hurtful; there were times when I should have used those insults to evaluate my behavior and repent.

I was always one to let it roll off and usually didn’t respond to the insults that were hurled and turned the other cheek quickly. But, that didn’t make the stings any less painful. None-the-less, those later years resulted in many unhealthy “friendships” and I found myself surrounded by people who weren’t really my friends at all. In keeping these same “friends” and enduring the same insults and hurtful behavior- I thought that somehow, some way these people would eventually really like me once they got to know me. Years later…I have a bit of social anxiety and fear of being judged…and I realize that I am a doormat who has been quite worn.

Albert Einstein once said that the “definition of “insanity” is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

I have always been surrounded by people and yet remain very much alone. Facebook just makes it very easy to keep a “safe” distance from people and not let anyone in- with the irrational belief that this will keep me from being hurt by people like I was in the past. Well…no more. It is way too easy for me to feel connected on Facebook and not seek out REAL LIVE PEOPLE to talk to and interact with. As long as I have this false sense of community- I will be alone. But, not just alone…alone and not fulfilling the full potential of God’s desires and plans for me. I need to reach out. I need to serve more. If I want to have a friend, I must learn to be a friend.

 As I look around, I see others walking with their noses buried in their phones and handheld devices. Nobody makes eye contact. We are too busy “capturing” and “documenting” life and are no longer living it. People don’t know how to carry on a conversation unless texting is involved. This isn’t real life…and it certainly doesn’t foster real friendships (only comfortable acquaintances).

We don’t see each other anymore. We only view each other.

So for the next 15 days, I am going to leave Facebook. I will not check it, will not browse it…I will not even sign in. If you read my posts there- it will still feed automatically, but I will not be able to chat with you about them unless you comment on BloomWhereIamPlanted.com directly. I need to break the bad habits associated with Facebook before I can even consider using it for the positive aspects. If I fail…I will need to deactivate my account altogether. It’s just that simple.

So here I go. Real life…here I come.

(A special thank you for SW for gathering a group of people for pizza and silly fun. It was a reminder that I really miss the company of others and need to seek out opportunities to be social and not avoid them. I appreciate your friendship, girlfriend! More than you know.)

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