I’ve been spending a lot of time on Instagram lately. OK, so maybe a little too much time but it can’t be all bad-right? It’s akin to having quick little mini-visits with closely curated group of folks that leave me with something good. I also love posting pics there. I feel safe, hidden in a way, and share a closely curated group of images so that people only see what I want them to see. Once in a while in an enthusiastic mood I might over share but, ultimately, they still aren’t getting the full picture.
I am not purposefully misleading anyone out there-as an introvert I tend to hold my hand close and guard the innermost with a vengeance. What is interesting is that in this open and exposed place I am learning as much as I am gleaning. I will backtrack a bit to let you know that I use to be on social media…a….lot. I honestly don’t remember how far back it was but I decided to pull the plug on Facebook, scale back on twitter (I only post when I have something deeply profound to say like “I interrupt this load of laundry to say that I would rather be eating french fries in the sunshine. that is all.” or an update on one of my sites) and used instagram as a way to reboot. I know-eye roll right?
More often than not I found myself feeling ‘less than’ after scrolling on Facebook for a while. I didn’t have the heart to unfriend all these people that I knew were all my closest friends (ahem) so I just completely bailed. I even announced that I was pulling the plug and if anyone wanted to stay in touch they could connect with me the old fashioned way-by phone (the art of a great phone conversation is dying folks-just thought you should know), by snail mail or by email. Out of the hundreds of ‘friends’ I had less than a dozen chose to actually engage off screen. In my relatives defense they have stayed in contact but I never really used facebook to love on them anyway. The only down side of leaving was missing out on good deals that businesses I loved would offer only on FB. Oh well. Less shopping more time for other things and less clutter.
Comparison is the thief of joy. Teddy Roosevelt said this waaaaaay before the internet but man-this jewel of a phrase encapsulates the struggle of so much access. Seeing all the amazing homes, culinary masterpieces, fantastic vacations, incredible children, tremendous successes that people are having and the extraordinary things they are doing can make my ordinary life pale in, well, comparison. Facebook was that in a big way-it was like getting that annoying Christmas letter from Mr. and Mrs. Van Perfect (where everything is golden and sparkling) every day. all day. and on crack. It was that or the exact opposite which was just as bad because it began to inhibit my ability to be compassionate.
Back to Instagram. I am a visual person. I love beautiful images. I love words. I love discovery. AND I love something that adds value to my daily experience. I started to poke around on Instagram and found all these lovely posts and began following a small group-which has gradually grown larger, I must confess-of bloggers, decorators, inspirational writers and individuals that offer a bit more than just a pretty pic. I do follow a handful of individuals from my life during facebook but not many.
I didn’t set out to use Instagram as a form of social media rehab but that is how it turned out. It also turned out to be a conduit for spiritual regrowth and personal revelation. HA-rereading that invites all kinds of self-analysis but I am just going to lay it out there without too much examination…just yet. Anyway-a couple of things happened. 1). I found a tribe of encouraging, spiritual and authentic writers, photographers and beautiful people. Yes, I haven’t met any of them in person but they touch my days with beauty, truths and offer a bit of sanctuary in moments of waiting. 2). I have learned that by sharing the small pieces of my world that I find beauty in I am discovering I am seeing in an entirely different way. When I am able to see the individual parts as beautiful, I begin to see the whole in a different light.
When I am able to see the individual parts as beautiful, I begin to see the whole in a different light. This was an ah-ha revelation because though it was couched in a seemingly shallow delivery system the depth of truth and change it illicited is tantamount to a full heart reversal.
Comparison. This is such a difficult thing to deal with but by choosing to surround my internet world with only those things that lift me up or fill my screen with beauty and grace-I made a choice to change. OK, it’s wasn’t really that easy but I will spend more time on what really pushed this change on another post. Either way-what I discovered that while my life and home aren’t ever going to grace the pages of a book or magazine when I take the time to find the individual pieces of my life/world/home as beautiful I have begun to see the whole as a pretty wonderful thing.
I’ll quit there. I have been posting on Instagram using the hashtag uneditedmornings (#uneditedmornings) and this post is an attempt to transfer that concept to my writing. So welcome to my unedited written morning! Not sure how often I will do this but thought it would be fun to try!