I was getting ready to head out the door when I got a call from John telling me Emiliana had a high fever. Nearly speeding down I-35 at 6:15am this morning I watched a most spectacular sun rise, only not with my baby (she is on the upswing, btw). I was too lost in thought to take a photograph. This morning, so many words...
London proves it. I heard a news story about the 3 recent attacks. We have entered into a new age. It is no longer just a battle on our soil, against our property. The war we fight has entered our minds, is a battle waged against our own minds and hearts.
We must question. The devices that measure our steps and our heart rates and our music and our phone calls and our entertainment — it is all based upon platforms that manage and collect data, but collect data for what purpose? Who sees it? What is the information we are being fed? Is it not possible that all of these devices, all software if collecting our data can also purpose an agenda?
Yesterday British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke about it. ISIS has been known to infiltrate our social media. They connect to our youth, to those without a purpose to those struggling to find their way, by providing them a community, a supposed safe place, to feel heard, to connect, to be understood and too oft, to their demise and now our own.
We cannot know if the messages in a mere photograph in our TUMBLR feed or a random photo on IG is not a rabbit hole towards JIHAD. Surely we would be wise enough, aware, astute enough to not fall, to recognize before it is too late, but when one has little to live for, one is willing to fall, perhaps even to die, for less.
“Not me” we scream. “It can’t be” and we turn a blind eye to our youth that spend hours upon hours on social media. We get our entire identity from life and followers, so it is a no-brainer, pure genius that the organization that teaches human beings “your life is worth sacrificing” is also recruiting where our youth, where we, as an entire population reside.
There is only one way to fight back on this front, two if we could be so bold, three if we want to begin to make a difference. Number one, shut off your devices and live. Number two, connect. Look up from your device and say hi to the person next to you on the street, in your cubicle, in line at the grocery store. Number three, know who you are, outside of a heart icon, beyond the publishing of an IG story. When was the last time you really lived the story instead of trying to figure out how to tell it? LIVE now.
We would be shocked if we knew just how many of us have been contact by ISIS, trying to make us into someone or something we are not.
The psychology behind the attachment to our devices is becoming our undoing, as a society, as individuals. Would you recognize a voice other than your own, in your own mind? Would you be able to tell the difference between your own thoughts and those emanating from another? How is this question even relevant today?
What do we reach for, when we are hurting, physically, emotionally? How are we dealing with the troubles of our hearts, our lives? What are we calling our gods, our media, our medicine? What soothes us? A pill? Facebook? Sonic binge? It is all we know, perhaps how we were raised, all we’ve ever known.
We wonder why we say our heart aches or breaks, perhaps it's because we physically feel that. The more we sit with emotions inside of us- the more we acknowledge them as not defining us rather, us as an observer- the easier it is to feel exactly where/what emotions arise. I’ve noticed I carry a lot of stress in my neck and shoulders, which in turn causes my neck/jaw to hurt, whenever I’m being unwavering about something.
"Life is pain, Your Highness. Anyone that says differently is selling something.” (Princess Bride :)
The other day when I was upset, so in my own funk I wasn’t aware Emiliana was watching me, she came up to me and put her little hand on my face and said “Just take a breaf, mama. Take a breaf.” And that made me burst into tears because that’s what I say to her when she’s upset. “Just breathe little one.”
What if we gave ourselves permission to feel anger, to feel bitterness, hatred, disappointment, but in the same breath acknowledged that even though those valid emotions arise in us, they do not define us. We are not them.
This morning, let’s take in a big deep life-giving breath, raise our arms towards the sky and count our blessing that we are alive. Today, we have control over one thing and on thing only: our thoughts and attitude towards what happens around us.
Lovely, let me tell you a secret.... in case you already forgot.
You are light. You are light. You are light. Go on and shine!