In the past three days, I have heard of four separate incidences of suicide…all involving tweens ages 10-13. This is a topic close to my heart as I have experienced my own grief and heartache from suicide, and it rips me to again see how this affects all ages…not simply in the horrible aftermath of a death or an attempt, but also in the age ranges of people who are driven to this point.
I am hearing way too many stories like this. Is it because of my reticular activator, or is there a shift in our world where this is happening more and more? How have we gotten to a place where people feel there is no more hope, no one to turn to?
This week I didn’t blog on my typical day. I haven’t been able to bring myself to write because I wasn’t sure what I should say. I’m heartsick over pain and sadness, and like my last post, my tendency is to want to barge in and fix it all. And wow, there is more than I can fix, and in trying to fix, I may take away a journey someone else needs to walk.
I cannot take away the pain of another. I know too well the fog that covers depression and grief, and how, when someone is at the point of suicide, they have pulled into a point of isolation so much so that it’s beyond them to even see the affect it has that is greater than them.
And I look at our world. The “connected” life of the Internet, where in a second you can see “real life” played out on Periscope, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. How you can access anything and everything you want through Amazon, Google and Pinterest. These are the valuable resources, and ones many, many businesses are built on.
And I am finding myself with an ache in my stomach when I think about building my social media momentum. I’m seeing breakdowns in relationships and a surface connection that leaves people “in touch” yet with no one in the same room. Physical touch is absent. In the written social media, body language, tone of voice, and eye contact is non-existent. Engagement and reciprocity fade and you become a bystander of life.
In a mere 17 days, PapaGray, the girls and I will be embarking on a monumental trip for us: a whole month in Costa Rica, purely for exploration, adventure, and family togetherness. As this time gets closer, and the realities of life and pain surround me and my loved ones, I’m pulling away more and more from social media.
I, like many, can get sucked in, and spend so much time being an observer on someone else’s life…someone I may have never even met or had a two-sided relationship with. And right now, I’m remembering the reason I wanted to start this site. It was…it is, about connection. So now, I want to practice what I preach.
I don’t want to be so connected “out there” – so focused on helping others that I lose sight of myself, of my family, and those in front of my face. I want to let go of capturing every moment on Instagram and Facebook and capture it in my heart instead. I want to be in the picture, not recording it. I want to really see…my family, myself.
There are times in our lives that are pivotal. Where we go through growing pains, introspection, and challenge the ways we were and whether we want to stay that way. I’ve realized my need to focus on all I can do for others and losing sight of what’s right under my nose. I’ve recognized my voice and the importance of speaking up. And I’ve been reminded of the importance of a physical connection – of being physically present with someone and being there, in the moment instead of lost in our own “connected” isolation.
And so I’m taking a break. I may not disappear, but I am giving myself permission to. I am sowing the seeds for the next part of my journey, and I’m planting with great care. I want the harvest to help many, but for now, I have to focus on what I’m planting. I’m planting awareness, connection, presence, healing and love. I’m planting for myself and for my family. And in that process, social media is a lot lower on the priority list.
There are seasons in all of our lives, and I want to come back in with heightened awareness on not only how to connect in my own life, but tools, stories, and challenges to push you to unplug, step out, and hug the ones you love. To not hold back on being physically present, alone in your own thoughts, and sharing them in the presence of others.
Today, I am going to give myself grace…and time. When I do write, it is for my heart as much as yours, and it is through my own personal growth that I hope will give a voice to others to write, relate and share.
Start this journey with me today by simply asking yourself this question:
How am I going to stop the constant train of virtual connection and be fully present with the people physically in my life today?