Originally, I had a different opening to this post, but as I sat in church today, I found the sermon aligning perfectly with the blog I had already written.
“Chatting on social media is not the same as a conversation. Texting is not talking, and being on someone’s Snapchat story does not mean you are actively a part of their story… Technology is masking our relational issues.”
More and more I am becoming disgusted with the way I live my life.
How do I show true love and appreciation for my friends? I write a lengthier than usual post on their wall about them, with a picture to match. Hardly a sacrifice, or a true act of love. But it’s easy, and convenient, everyone will see what a great friend I am, and best of all, there’s no risk! It’s a perfectly safe way to show I care without the danger of rejection.
I’m not try to down social media, and of course sweet posts are nice in their own way, but I feel as if I’ve lost something. Maybe the reason why my friendships don’t last is because instead of telling them to their face how much they mean to me, or making memories with them, I have invested in a post that may last for a day (more likely a couple hours) before it is lost in a torrent of bad political posts and cute kitten videos.
Why do I invest in the temporal, instead of something more lasting?
And worst of all… why do I settle on complaining about my relationship issues?
Because it’s easier, and we’re trained to accept it.
It’s easier to talk, spread, and point out the negative, which is why there are more magazines about the failings of our favorite actors, rather than magazines that genuinely care about a person’s well-being. We bond over that which we hate, and thrive off of other people’s failure (not just famous people’s failures, but our loved ones as well).
Lately, instead of talking, complaining, and settling, I’ve been praying. And I’ve been trying.
For some reason, we have cultivated this false idea that these unhealthy habits are the best way to develop relationships, when in reality, it’s the reason that, in a “plugged-in” world, we are more isolated than ever.
We have become vampires who suck the life out of the first person who loves us, and then, after using them up, we become furious and act as if they’ve betrayed us when they have nothing left to give, and ask for some space.
What if, instead of taking, we gave?
Why do we allow fear to reign in our relationships?
What if that really pretty girl that just introduced herself to you isn’t competition, but someone you could have a real friendship with?
What if that guy genuinely wants to know how your day was, and isn’t trying to get your number?
What would it be like to be actually vulnerable, to try in your relationships?
Lately, it’s come to my attention that people believe if a relationship isn’t progressing naturally, or if you have to put in effort, it’s not a healthy relationship.
*This does not include actual abusive/ toxic relationships*
What if I told you that was lie?
What if I told you I know firsthand that the best friendships, the healthiest relationships, will come with struggle, and times of hardship?
Oh, but that wouldn’t fun. And aren’t relationship all about fun, and happiness?
What you see on Instagram is the beautiful, well-captioned, filtered parts of life… not the messy parts that take up more space than we’d care to admit.
Life isn’t all about fun and happiness, and neither are relationships (although there will be plenty of that if you’re willing to stick it out for someone you love).
Why don’t you take the risk and reach out to that person on your hall (pardon my college-speak) that no one wants to talk to, instead of assuming there’s an excusable reason that no one does?
Stop being afraid of relationships, and start loving. There’s no use for that love if you’re stingy with it–in fact, it’s a total waste.
Go out and see that dorky movie your friend wants to see, instead of convincing them to stay in and watch Netflix; take that road trip, and make it about more than just the new profile picture you’ll get out of it.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
―C.S Lewis, The Four Loves
“Friendship takes time and energy if it’s going to work. You can luck into something great, but it doesn’t last if you don’t give it proper appreciation. Friendship can be so comfortable, but nurture it-don’t take it for granted.” -Betty White
“Live-tweeting your bikini wax is not vulnerability. Nor is posting a blow-by-blow of your divorce . That’s an attempt to hot-wire connection. But you can’t cheat real connection. It’s built up slowly. It’s about trust and time.” –Brene Brown