If you have followed my blog posts for the past week, or just know me, you will know that I have had a rough time lately. When I was going through RCIA the director who ran it told me that some people are “hard soil” and when God starts tilling it, it hurts. Our souls are like gardens and so we go through phases just like gardens do. There is a time to blossom, plant, grow, and till. God is constantly working on it. We aren’t passive in it all either. We have to choose to let Him in our garden in the first place. He never imposes Himself on us.
I think the hardest thing for me to do is to let Him in. It always takes a very long and complicated debate between us before I agree to let Him in. Even then, I sit in the corner watching Him with squinty eyes suspicious of what He’s doing. When I’m not doing that, then I’m right behind Him asking every question possible. “Why are you doing that God? Huh? What about this? Why is that important? Why is the sky blue? Why did you make birds? What about snakes? Huh? Huh God? Why?” That’s how I roll. I’m either arguing, questioning or suspicious.
Lately, the tilling has been involving my anger, pride and Facebook. They are all intertwined really. I wouldn’t have thought so but when I read Elizabeth Scalia’s book “Strange Gods”, I realized that they were all connected. Everything kind of came together with this week from hell and this post on Conversion Diary.
Elizabeth spoke about how social media can be used to reflect ourselves back to us. How we can use Facebook to create the person we think we are and surrounded by the people we think are “good”. We can also filter the news that fits our tastes etc. etc. so that in the end it is us that is looking back at ourselves when we log in. I never really realized what was happening. Every “like” was like a tiny little love letter to myself. “Look how smart I am, how good I can argue, how much I know about the faith. Just look!” that is what usually goes through my mind when I get into a really juicy debate on Facebook with someone who disagrees with me on an issue. It grew into a monster. A very prideful one. That pride fueled my anger and my anger fueled my need for more. More news, more “likes”, more comments, more debates, more, more, more.
People who see me in person who read a lot of my Facebook posts look at me weird. They only see the angry woman who can debate the hell out of the devil himself. They don’t see me. I’m so much more than that. Yes, I have strong opinions and don’t have an issue defending what I believe and why, but I’m also funny. I love to talk, I drink whiskey and I love to dance. I love music and reading too. I’m not just what you see in my writing, whether it be on Facebook or on this blog. But I don’t blame anyone for thinking that really, because as much time as I spend on there being angry about this or that, it’s not anyone’s fault for thinking that is all there is to me.
After reading Elizabeth’s book I prayed for God to help me detach from anything that is coming between me and Him. I heard loud and clear what that something was: Facebook. So I began to ask Him to help me get off of it. I have tried many many times and I fail miserably. I know that I need His Grace.
As always, He heard me and then asked for permission to come in the garden.
It started with realizing just how strident in my faith I had become, then I realized just how out of control my anger was and finally I realized that Facebook fuels all of it. It’s a time suck for one thing. It’s like a black hole. I horrible black hole full of things that piss you off and make you want to throw things. Not to mention how crabby it makes you towards the people in your real life. I don’t know how many times that I’ve snapped at my kids because I was in a bad mood over a debate on Facebook. Not cool.
Today I read Jennifer’s post and then logged in to talk about it. Within 10 minutes I was mad. 2 hours later and I am still working on this post which I started when I logged in, I’m in an ugly mood, I still haven’t gotten dressed and I didn’t read the chapter in my History book that I was supposed to for class. Luckily, the baby is still alive. (I babysit my grand-baby)
God has tilled the soil, now He’s ready to plant. I don’t know if I am ready, but I’m done suspecting anything from Him anymore but good things. It is time to get off Facebook. Even now, I’m looking for reasons why it doesn’t have to be so drastic. It’s no longer really an option for me. There are too many things in real life that I am missing. I am more than my Facebook. I am a person. I have a lot to offer the world. I have a lot of hard work to do to write this book. I have a life. It is time to start living it again instead of sitting in front of this screen setting up an altar to myself.