Tag Archives: Empowerment

Social Media: The Escape From Reality

“The black hole” is what we call it at work. That moment you go on the internet to find a video, or an article, just one, harmless enough, and then you look up and an hour has flown by. You wonder “where did the time go, I just went on to this site to look at one thing?!” The black hole can be entertaining, comforting, and very dangerous. For me, the biggest myth of the black hole is that it’s adding meaning to my life, that it’s in some way adding value. Don’t get me wrong, it’s entertaining as heck but sometimes (read: most times) it’s just down right depressing. Not depressing because what I see is sad or lack-luster but because I fall victim to the disease that so many other do: Comparison.

I compare my life to others and all of a sudden this day time hobby turns into a pity party for poor ‘ol Rebecca. The reality is that my life is wonderful and had far exceeded my expectations for where I’d be at this age but the devil of comparison knocks at the door and I let him in. Not only do I let him in, but I bake him cookies.

For the last few months I’ve been stepping away from social media and phew is it freeing. Every other day my “friends” would be posting about their engagements, and babies, and extravagant trips they were taking. I was exhausted just trying to keep but when you add feeling sorry for myself in the mix, it was a full time job. So I stopped, I got off and only got on if I knew someone put up a post I wanted to see. For instance, my little brother posted photos from a trip that I wanted to take a look at. I had him text me when they were up and I jumped back on.

Let me interject a little story: I had a friend who was madly and deeply in love with her boyfriend. She would post pictures every other day of them together and all the activities they did. One day, the posts stopped. She didn’t post anything bashing him, the “good” posts just ended. I asked her what happened I said “I thought you two were so happy,” to which she replied “you can’t always believe what you see.” Behind her posts was a world of hurt and the way she dealt with it is by wearing a mask on social media, pretending that everything was OK to save face to a bunch of people she didn’t even know. It was that moment that I realized posting happy times isn’t bad if they are actually happy and you truly want to spread that joy with the world, but posting to cover up something is dangerous, not to everyone else, but to yourself. We’ve all done it, trying to boost the ego with “likes” and re tweets. There’s nothing wrong with that, do you, but for me, I want to live my life honest with myself.

Comparison can be good when it acts as motivation but what I had drifted to was so far from motivation, and just straight depression. Why as a society must we base our value off of what others think? Why must I show the world how good my life is to think or know it’s good. The real issue is with me, I know this, not those who post.

The take away for me is this: I can be happy for others and share in their joy but I must not compare. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

So as Valentine’s Day approaches I encourage you (and myself) to not compare your journey to someone else’s; no one knows what goes on behind closed doors, behind the 2 dozen roses. If you don’t have a Valentine make yourself your Valentine and remember, it’s never too late to be happy, but it’s all up to you and no one else.

*Steps off soapbox*

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Discovering self-worth

“YOU ARE WORTH THE JACKET,” my father sternly yet lovingly said to me at the end of a heated conversation about Christmas presents.  At the time I really didn’t understand what he was saying: how could the choice to buy a jacket be translated into a larger interpretation of how much or little I value myself?  I thought to myself “this is way too much of a leap, there is no way.”  Humility struck again and I must admit my father was right.  Lets Tarantino this (as Dane Cook would say) and I’ll take you back to the beginning…

My father, like most fathers, is a loving yet assertive man.  He’s an Army veteran who served during Vietnam and grew up the 3rd child of 4 with only sisters.  He put himself through school, and received his Ph.D in Psychology with no assistance from his family.  Yes, that’s right, growing up with a psychologist for a father was always interesting.  I talked about my feelings…a lot…and there were endless hugs (even if I didn’t want them).  I love my father, both my parent’s for that matter, but I have to admit, I’m a Daddy’s Girl.  Always have been and always will be.

This conversation started like any other “what would you like for Christmas, Rebecca?” Innocent enough, right? Wrong.  I told him I’d get back to him because I was at work and didn’t have the time to think about it at the moment.  A few hours later I get an e-mail from him saying there is a sale going on one of the stores he frequents and asked if maybe I’d like something from there.  Again, I was too caught up with work and responded with a quick “I’ll check when I get home.”

When I got home I looked through the site and found these absolutely adorable winter jackets.  I’m perpetually cold and they looked oh so warm.  I found 3.  I sent him the link to each, in my order of preference…sort of.  See, I’ve always been very cautious with my finances, to the point when I was a little girl and my family would do Sunday dinner’s at a restaurant my Grandma would complain that I ordered with the right side of my menu (where the prices were often located).  It’s true, spending money, mine or anyone else’s is difficult, but I never thought of it in the way my father was about to describe.  He called me when he got my e-mail and said something to the effect of: you put the most expensive coat at the bottom but in parentheses you wrote this is the one you really wanted, why did you put it [insert: yourself] at the bottom of the list?  It was at this moment he began to explain (as only a psychologist father can) that “this is part of a larger issue,” and that “you don’t think you are worth the jacket.”  There was a pause in the conversation, because truthfully I thought he’d like the fact that I was trying to save him money, and then he replied “YOU ARE WORTH THE JACKET.”

A week later I received the jacket in the mail and I absolutely LOVE it.  I wear it every day.
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I’m not saying go out and spend money you don’t have, please live within your means, but if there is something that is within your means, like this jacket is for my parents, go for it, treat yourself, enjoy the gifts of your hard work.  I mentioned magazines in  my previous post about vision boards and this is where it ties in.  The little things in life can make a huge difference.  What I’ve tried to do is one nice thing for myself every day, which may or may not have a monetary component.  I love nail polish (and I’m the furthest from girly but I still love it) so when I see one I like, if I haven’t done something nice for myself that day, I’ll buy it.  

Go to the gym, get a massage, plan a trip, sleep in, cuddle with God, give yourself a break.

The word of the month (and possibly year) is empowerment.  Let go of the control you think you have over your life and be empowered to accomplish your dreams.  Speak into existence the wonderful things you know you deserve (and even if you don’t know/think you deserve them, speak it anyway because I’m here to tell you, you do deserve it).

When I rest my head on the pillow, no matter how the day went, I want to be serene, relaxed, calm, and empowered to know that I did my best…and even if I didn’t God loves me anyway.  Imperfectly perfect.