There are so many things I’m supposed to be doing tonight and most of them involve sleeping, but instead I’m here with you. There’s a lot of talk these days about tuning out, turning off, and letting go. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately, putting down the incessant stream of technology and getting back down to basics. The problem with having an internet presence is that people expect you to be eternally present. You feel a pressure to respond to messages and emails almost immediately after reading them or risk feeling rude. There is a general sense of needing to be always available for friends, family, and anyone else out there, but being an introvert, I can only give so much of myself at once.
I need time to detox. I need that personal time to be myself alone in a space and rediscover who I am when all of the emotional lint of the day has been picked off. It’s a really important process that I don’t make enough time for.
With constant blaring media input, it’s hard to forget that sitting alone in a room with oneself is one of the most precious gifts we have to give. It’s there in our own thoughts that we are stripped naked, laid bare, and at the end of the day, loved. It is so important to love ourselves that I don’t think I could even begin to stress it enough, but it has to be a good love, a selfless self love. It has to be an all encompassing love where we look at our flaws, at those places where we consider ourselves broken, accept that they exist, and in the end love ourselves with and for all those very human flaws.
The idea that we are imperfect beings longing for perfection is basically unhelpful towards our own betterment and that of society’s. Every day we are impacted with images, sounds, and pictures of what we should think perfect looks, feels, and sounds like. We strive to be good without ever really defining what we constitute as good. Sometimes shutting off the external is the only way to turn on our own thoughts. Instead of having morality fed to us in bible quotes, diet plans, and expensive handbags, we can make the decision to question our own beliefs and what our actions, thoughts, and decisions say to us about what we find to be the most human response. We have to beware this blanket term of goodness because great evil has been done with blindly good intentions and instead think more about the impact of our impression we leave on the world, what the things we do say about us as not only individuals, but also as culture and as a species.
Instead of aspiring to be godlike, let’s aspire to be more human. All we need to do is shut out the world long enough to remind ourselves what being human means to us so we can have something enriching to contribute to an ever invasive wave of technology that demands you make friend requests to your old high school geometry teacher’s college ex girlfriend.
What do you think are the defining qualities that make us human? Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the demanding nature of today’s invasive internet culture? When was the last time you turned off the outside world and just practiced being lost in thought?
Find your zen place, merfolk, because if you’re going to find an ocean in the middle of a desert, you should probably practice looking.
who found me in my zen place at dawn & documented it for posterity.