Greetings, blog-readers! I took a week-long “anti-social leave of absence.” I’m now back to the world of social networking and blogs. My feelings regarding the return are mixed, but I did miss you. 🙂
It was an informative week. In the beginning, the Facebook withdrawals were powerful. How could life go on without knowing what people were up to on a minute-by-minute basis? And what was I to do with my own thoughts? Without the ability to post them, they were wasted. By the end of the week, however, I hardly cared. It was freeing and if I was curious about what so-and-so was up to, I could–hm, I don’t know–talk to them.
It was a relief, too, to know that my friends did not disappear just because I went AWOL from Facebook. Nor did I forget about them. Additionally, my brain did not implode from the stored-up thoughts. Life went on.
Perhaps the most important learning from my absence was how important community is. I didn’t realize this until a sermon yesterday morning on the very subject. The truth is I took a break from social networking because I was angry. I believe I was angry with people in general, and perhaps especially the people of the church. Angry and hurt, I just wanted time to contemplate as well as avoid any further provocation. Yet as I sat listening to the sermon yesterday morning and then later in the evening reviewing my notes and the scriptures, I was struck with the realization that hurt and disappointment is part of living in a community. Period. It’s going to happen, end of story. We are all going to take turns going through hard moments or times of doubt, but that’s when we step in to comfort, encourage, and love one another. And when hurts happen, we abandon condemnation and forgive. Likewise, I need to go easy on myself. I cannot demand perfection of myself. I need to humble myself, admit that I need help, and trust that the people in my life will accept and support me. If they don’t, that is not my problem. I can only forgive and move on.
It’s a slippery slope when we feel we can’t or don’t “measure up” to other’s or our own standards. Depression, bitterness, and dejection settle in. You may even find yourself avoiding people for a while like I did.
But instead of getting better as I strategized and schemed for how best to meet everyone’s demands, I liked myself less and less. I withdrew more and more. Irritability sky-rocketed. The less time I spend looking at myself, the better for all! Which leads me to this week’s poetry prompt…
The poetry prompt du jour is to title a poem, “Better Off___[fill in the blank]” and then write the poem. Here goes!
Better Off Without a Mirror
Countless hours of smooshed-nose scrutiny
Within the fogged glass lies all of life
Eternity in a pore
Value in a strand of hair
Deeper now passed bloodshot eyes
Swallowed in the pupil
Who is she?
She swims behind a deceptive facade
Marred, imperfect, but adequate camouflage
Eyes strain to search out every detail
Catch every flaw
Analyze every motive
What is she doing?
Can she be trusted?
Something lurks behind that mask
Perhaps if I get closer
I can find it, eradicate it
Eyes crossed, temples pounding
But I must see
I know the more I look, the better she’ll become
A sigh, the glass blurs
I step back, dejected
But something happened. I can’t see her anymore
Not through the fog
I hear a Voice, I turn around, fix my eyes on Him
Relief floods in and I feel her changing
I guess she’s better off
without the mirror