When I started writing these, I promised myself I wouldn’t fill it with bullshit. I have a dozen things written that never made it onto the website either because they were fluff, self-serving or really didn’t come from any place of depth, it’s writing masturbation. I’m not sure if I’ve just been living superficially lately but I haven’t had much to write…until today.
I’ve been getting more and more annoyed with social media. Facebook, Instagram and others are new in the span of my life time. And I actually remember what it was like to NOT check my phone or computer. I remember what it was like to stay connected with people because you had to put the effort in not just tag people in posts. I have fallen deeply into the social media addiction and pulled myself out. I now check very little and spend most of the time on Facebook looking at recipes to try to make something new. I first went on to Facebook long before it was anything. A friend living on the East Coast just got married and if I was going to see wedding pictures I had to go on Facebook. I logged in and within a few months, I deleted it all. People I hadn’t spoken to in 20 years started popping up and while it was fun for a moment, the people I preferred not to find me had. And I deleted my account. Fast forward years later I started up again to post pictures and videos so the people I was dog sitting for could see their happy pups while they were away on vacation. That was the beginning, then slowly I started looking beyond my dog page.
Being a yoga teacher, I kept hearing how I have to post pictures and get on Instagram, so I did. I didn’t really question it, I just did it. Then comes those little hearts you get when people like what you post. The people who design these know exactly what they’re doing. Those little likes give you a rush of feel good drugs to your brain that keeps you coming back for more and more. More likes, more followers then you have companies that once you have enough followers want you to be an ambassador, to wear and acknowledge their products so they can sell more and give you all kinds of free stuff. Now besides just those feel good drugs you get free shwag. As someone who is trying to live a less consuming life things like this irritate me. The subtle manipulation of people to consume, consume consume in a planet already sick from our greed. Sorry slight digression. I fell into the idea that I had to do all these things to be successful, to have a following but with that came envy! This person has more followers, more likes, blah blah blah blah blah! I have never cared about being popular so why suddenly was I trying to fit in with what other people were doing? Not only that, I was envious of people I didn’t know and most of the time didn’t agree with.
Next, I jumped on to my high and mighty soap box. Apparently, the view is fabulous because I’ve spent a lot of time up there lately. But thankfully I’ve had enough sense to keep it up in my head. I found myself becoming incredibly judgmental over photos and inspirational quotes from people that I thought were clueless about the meaning, just trying to get a large base of people that can relate, that can feel understood. I stood taller on my soap box passing down judgment from my superior understanding of pain, suffering, growth, and enlightenment. OH MY GOD the drama!! Then I justified (in my head where all this is taking place) my judgement, because these people were passing along information they didn’t understand and were potentially leading people down the wrong path! Oh My God the horror! I had a ton of these bullshit reasons. I could list them but frankly this is embarrassing enough as it is. The obvious next step was to delete my accounts and with a huff because, ya know, if you don’t huff it’s not dramatic enough and people won’t realize how superior I am.
Here is where I am superior. I am superior to the person I used to be that would have held on to all these ideas, not dug any deeper to see what was really going on. I have moved on from the person that would deny being judgmental but just try harder and harder to defend my point of view and maybe made some others feel the same as me.
I practiced yoga on and off for years. I started practicing daily as a form of pain management from a surgery. I was in it purely for the exercise. It was after some years I noticed my ability to breathe and not react as quickly. I became calmer. I began to read, meditate and learned as much as I could about yoga. Then I became a teacher and had to pass along this amazing practice that helped to change my life. I became a preacher and felt such passion because of the shift in my life I became possessive over what I thought it should look like. I almost forgot how much my path zig-zagged. Here’s the thing. Who cares?! It doesn’t matter if you practice yoga for exercise, for money, or for likes and followers. It doesn’t matter if you don’t live those inspirational quotes you post. It has taken me much too long to get off this soap box. We all have no idea what happens outside of the photos and even if we do, SO WHAT! Even if these people truly struggle, should that make me judge them less? No! All of it doesn’t matter, I need to stop deciding if my judgement is valid or not and just stop judging. There’s a saying going around a lot lately that says something along the lines of “be kind to other people, you have no idea what struggles they have.” This to me is part of the problem. How about we just leave it as “Be Kind to People” - Period.
I know this isn’t it for me, this issue is moving up on my to do list. This is a part of me I really, really don’t like. It’s ugly and something I want to eliminate in my life. Honestly though, I’m not sure I can. I realize it now more clearly than I ever have, and I won’t be able to hide it from myself anymore which is good. I don’t know if any of us can get rid of judgement completely and I think we do need some to an extent. I’m not sure if anyone else can relate to this or even wants to admit it. Like I said, when I started this, I promised no bullshit and to me this is about as ugly as it gets. I’m here feeling vulnerable but really good too. I feel like I’ve broken through another layer of crap I’ve covered myself in. I’m a work in progress so if you judge me for this, well I judge me for it too but I’m trying to get over it.