Sticks and stones may break bones but what about whispered words?
They burn bridges.
I’ve written on gossip before and how damaging it is to both parties, but this whispering isn’t the make sure the door is closed whispering, it’s the things I tell myself.
The other day I saw this sign and thought it was eerily poignant.
I’ve been going through it.
Call it what you want it – you all know what I’m talking about.
Recently, I decided to get rid of social media as an experiment to see if it would help. Lonely at times? Sure. Liberating? Absolutely.
I’m seeing things differently.
Yesterday I watched T.V.
Yeah I know, wow Brendan you got off social media to watch T.V.
I mean I really watched. Not watched five minutes then grab my phone and check Instagram while the episode played in the background.
Yesterday I drove my car.
Really drove. Not get to a red light, check my phone, put it down, keep driving.
Yesterday I took pictures.
Just took them. Didn’t post or share.
Yesterday I walked.
Just walked. Not walked while scrolling or listening to music.
These might seem trivial, even laughable, and that’s okay, but it’s a seemingly small shift that has been seismic.
After a lot of prayer and reflection, I’ve realized the most important commodity, feeling, emotion, state of mind – whatever you want to call it – is freedom.
Before social media, it was having a beer.
Clean up the apartment, and have a beer.
Play video games, and have a beer.
Read a book, and have a beer.
Sobriety has also been freeing. Lonely at times? Sure. But I enjoy not having a substance that has control over my words, emotions or actions.
There doesn’t have to be an and. We can all just do. Just be.
Society tells us we need to multitask. Maximize each hour. Grind.
The catch is that often times, in that pursuit, I forget to look both ways.
Look back to what has brought me to this place – what’s coming down the road.
Look ahead to what could be – what’s next.
We’ve all closed the door and shared something with someone we trust. This is a good thing, privacy and honesty are important. However, I’ve found when I’m looking around to see if anyone is listening or watching – the words or actions that follow can hold more weight than shouts of joy.
Now I know that when I close my door, in the privacy of my own soul, what I choose to tell myself has great power, and if I’m not careful it can lead me astray. But, with awareness, trust, and courage, I can make progress.
I can be free.