The Bluff

Why I did a Social Media Cleanse.

Social media has become the norm today, it has become something that controls every aspect of our life, especially our relationships with people.

I’ve often wondered what it would be like to build a relationship without the use of technology, whether that is a friendship or something more intimate. We judge people through a jaded lens that is their camera. We show what we want on our instagrams, say what we think people will want to hear on our twitter, show what we think will cause jealousy on our snapchat, but the reality is all of this is a façade for the pain, anxiety and depression that controls our society. I’m not going to say that I am not a culprit of this. I am.

I have continually caught myself not bothering to talk to someone because I have this calculated vision of who they are (or are not) because of what I’ve seen on their social feed, and yet I haven’t said more than the cordial “Hey, how are you”. This is not what I want to partake in. I want to have a relationship with people that is real, that is what I KNOW from TALKING to them, not through what they want me to know. People are a beautiful and fragile thing, and somewhere this has been lost.

We hide behind technology never talking about what is really happening in our hearts, never letting the guilt, hurt and sadness leave our souls because that would ruin our perfect image that the public sees. What is wrong with hurt, with letdown? We all experience it so why do we try so hard to hide it? We are riddled with pent up emotions because society has defined unrealistic levels of perfection that we are trying endlessly to reach.

I find it heart breaking to hear someone say “I have anxiety” and over half the group chimes in as to how it affects their life too. We no longer push ourselves to better who we are, why should we when everyone thinks we live a perfect life and we have 100 likes on that artsy picture? I want to be a better person in knowing people partaking in genuine, authentic and transparent relationships. I want to ask people what they have been up to without having a polluted view of that answer.

So many opportunities are missed as I spend my time scrolling through pictures of that girl in Europe and that guy who actually went to Chicago, instead of me who perpetually dreams of going. What if I spent less time being jealous of what people have (and I don’t), and more on what I do have and the opportunities that I can take, and are in front of me. I can learn more by reading, explore more of what is 10 miles down the road, work on my body image that I struggle with so much when I see others with what seems to be the perfect body.

A testimony that speaks to our corrupted society, we spend more time worrying about who is and who is not following us, how many likes we have received, what people are doing, instead of looking at what is right in front of us.Why are we offended for being “unfollowed”. Does that make me less of a “friend” if I don’t look at your pictures, but I don’t even bother to look up or talk to you when I walk into a room? I’m not going to accept it as the norm. I want to make a change. I want to be more than my bluff that is social media.

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The Plan

I went from elementary school to freshman year of college thinking that veterinary school was going to be my end goal. I thought that I was going to help animals because I didn’t want to help people; I was more frustrated by them and didn’t want anything to do with them. When I got to college I got involved with a wonderful church group and found my identity in Christ. I was born again, and with this, I came to the realization that I have a much greater purpose. At this point, I wasn’t sure what that was. I started to realize that vet school was not the path that God had planned for me; He had much much greater plans for me. Realizing this was one of the hardest things to come to terms with, due to the fact that I had gone all this time with MY plan of becoming a vet. Suddenly everything inside of me was saying that was not where I was supposed to be going. God started to reveal to me that I do in fact care about people. I started to find myself constantly heart broken by the people who were pushed aside by society. That was those who were living with life changing circumstances like autism or spina bifida or just going through the process that is life and being forgotten because they don’t move as fast as they used to and their hair was graying.

After much praying, I was sure of one thing I was to transfer schools and go back home. I finished my freshman year at Purdue University and then transferred to East Carolina University. I hope to one day become an occupational therapist; I’m not sure what population I want to target yet, but I know I want to make a change in the lives of people who are forgotten.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

I’ve struggled heavily with the lies that I can’t make a difference in the lives of people who refuse to believe that there is a God. I continually tell myself that it is hopeless to work with these people when you can’t “fix” them without God. I’ve been so accustomed to the secular view of medicine that everything is for money and you just hand someone pills, give them the most expensive test and move on. While I knew this was not the approach I wanted to take in whatever profession I end up in I was sure that any other way would be near impossible. God, however, has been continually showing me otherwise. When I believed that I can’t make a difference in people who don’t have God I was right in part, I can’t, but HE can.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

We are called to look for those who aren’t always noticed, but at the same time stand out. Jesus never went to those who were “perfect” He went to those who were known sinners, those who many people hated. How can this apply to medicine? I wasn’t sure, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that the people that God has broken my heart for are the people that those in the medical field don’t want to deal with. The “sinners” of the medical world include the mentally ill, the elderly, and the prognosis that calls for just leaving them in a home or sending them to an institution.

What really encouraged me to write about this was a comment made by a pastor, he said: “These people aren’t sick, they are simply experiencing a bigger circumstance than we are.” What a way to look at it. We have become so calloused to the vision that someone with autism is helpless, the elderly are slowly deteriorating, they just aren’t worth the time and effort. But does it have to be that way? Why can’t we see them as if they are like everyone else, treat them like they aren’t sick, like they can get better, like they can do more than we limit them to with the jaded standards and biases we have chained them in.

He doesn’t care how great a person may be, and he pays no more attention to the rich than to the poor. He made them all.
Job 34:19

Something that I love so much about occupational therapy is that it reaches people wherever they are at. It isn’t trying to push them to be somewhere or something they aren’t. It is finding a way for them to accomplish the goals that they aren’t sure is possible. The stroke patient that believes they will never be able to walk again, or the child that no one believes will be able to live on their own, there is a way to accomplish their goals, and it is never impossible.

God still has a lot to teach me, and I still have a while to go, and who knows He might change my path to something other than occupational therapy, but I know one thing for sure that He has changed the way that I view people. Sure, there are still days where I am endlessly frustrated with the let down that comes with humanity. However, God reminds me that He is in control despite my worry and doubts.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9