We were grateful to have the house to ourselves for five days. My boyfriend Matt and I have been staying with my dad and step-mother a few weeks as we transition to our next apartment and we were going to have some alone time, at last! But then I realized that when my Dad and step-mother left for NYC last week, they also took the internet with them.
I felt like my right arm had been cut off as I desperately attempted passwords for neighboring homes. Bad, I know, but I was desperate. How would I keep up with my blog and work opportunities and creative ventures and writing my book and checking my email and Instagram nine times a day? Yes, I realize I don’t need internet for all these things, but did I mention I’m without a desktop and running out of phone data also? Yeah.
I bitched and moaned and made it through, and remembered to respect the lesson in whatever form it shows up:
The internet is a tool and—like other tools—when it’s used too much, it loses its effectiveness. We become slaves to status updates and food photos and clearing out our inboxes.
Before we know it, we’re sharing more with our virtual community than our actual friends and family. We forget what real connection looks like, what it feels like.
For me, it took disconnecting from the internet to realize how disconnected I’ve been in other areas.
Sitting idly on the couch, I longed to log onto the mac book sitting unused in the corner. I became restless and antsy.
It’s as if simply being isn’t enough sometimes. Can you relate?
Blame it on stress or travel or transitions in my work and home life, but the fact is, I’ve been absent for some time now. My friends have gotten my voicemail more times than I care to admit and I’ve distanced myself from the very environments that keep me sane and spiritually fit.
But I’ve not only distanced myself from others, I’ve become a stranger to myself.
It all began a couple weeks prior to the internet ordeal. I all but stopped my meditation practice, my prayer life became spotty, and I began succumbing to fear-based concerns. I guess you could say it got pretty noisy up there.
The really sad part? My internet use only aided in distracting and deterring me from doing the things I needed to be doing, things that required no digital connection whatsoever but just might save my ass: a heart to heart conversation with a friend, journaling, going for a run, getting on my yoga mat, starting that new work project. This is the stuff that sustains me and and heals me and creates long-term happiness.
The funny part? The internet depresses me in large doses. I guess you could say my relationship with the web is complicated.
But two days without Facebook and I’m ready to scream.
My ego likes to convince me I’m no more than a collection of body parts. A persona. Forever dependent on the approval of others.
But this isn’t the truth of who I am. I’m made with love and kissed with divinity. I’m the sun and the moon and the stars and everything in this universe I hold sacred.
And I’m also this one person, staying with her parents, managing a bundle of animals, a couple jobs, and a fabulous guy, just trying to get by. I’m human. I have bad days and blemishes and sometimes, I feel completely crazy.
This is where divine help comes in: we’re reminded through a lapse in internet or a weekend camping or a cell-phone-free rule before bed of the beauty that real connection offers. And I don’t know about you but I’ve yet to find a YouTube video that beats a cuddle sesh with my family.
What if we all try this: use the internet and all its wonders to enhance our spiritual prowess, rather than bring us down to the land of menial, man-made concerns. I’ve heard it said that we must solve our problems from a higher level than that which they arose. It’s a wonderful reminder to let spirit lead the way. It’s where all life’s problems can be solved, and ultimately, the place where problems can’t exist to begin with.
In the realm of spirit, there is no fear of making enough or being enough or saying the right thing or not saying anything at all. It’s all already perfect: god-given bliss.
And if I can remember that this is the place that truly matters—the place where miracles happen and disconnection is not possible—I will be okay, internet or not.
I’m curious, have you had a similar experience? What have you done in times of disconnection? How did you deal? And what did you learn?