More than a social media detox, my soul needed healing. I was suffering with soul fractures from constant connection to the world. Here’s how I hit reset.
By Renee Robinson
As I scrolled through my social media feed, each post seemed to spew outrage, anger, frustration, and opinions accompanied by demands for the reader to agree and understand. I turned my phone off, trying to remember why I was standing in my bedroom. I walked in here for a reason, but now short-term memory failed me.
“Mom,” my son called from the other room. If my eyes could make a sound, they would’ve exhaled a loud sigh as they rolled skyward.
“What?” That inwardly held sigh found its escape with my overly agitated response.
He continued with his question as he entered the room. I offered a half-hearted response to send him back to what he was doing.
Why did I feel annoyed by my child calling my name? That isn’t my nature or my heart. And why was my heart racing for no apparent reason? Why couldn’t I remember what I’d entered this room to do? My brain felt short-circuited, but it was my soul that began speaking.
A needed reset
I needed a reset.
One of my sons had recently brought me the computer claiming it finally died. “Nothing works at all. I’m pressing buttons and nothing happens. I move the touchpad and nothing.” I knew the computer was fine.
“When is the last time you turned it off and restarted it?”
“I never do that.”
Powering the computer off and back on, I watched it fire back to its perfectly functioning life.
It’s easy for me to remember a man-made computer needs a healthy shut down and reset, yet I forget my God-made soul also needs a reset from time to time in order to operate in healthy ways.
I ignored my whispering soul for months. My emotions seemed triggered by the constant connection to social media outrages which never seemed to die. A new drama always stands ready to take the stage.
Our hearts weren’t crafted to carry the load from constant world connection. We were never meant to see the barrage of information available in a world which never sleeps.
More than a social media detox
It was time to break from social media.
My soul needed more than a social media detox, it needed a total reset and healing. More than a distracted mind, I suffered soul fractures. The weariness of events, the worries of opinions, the wonderings of the future, and the weight of information caused injury only God could heal.
He invited me to lay down the weight of the steady stream of information and social media airings and tuck into Him.
I’ve been slowly working on adding more weights to my strength regimen. It’s a slower process than I hoped it would be. So gradual in fact that I hardly notice a difference. Recently, I picked up the weights I’d first started on, several pounds lighter than where I am now. The number of reps I could complete with the lighter weights surprised me. What surprised me more is the heaviness I felt when I then picked up the weights I’ve moved onto. Suddenly, I noticed the difference in the lighter and heavier. It took me stepping out of my normal to notice.
Our soul picks up weight as we navigate through life. When we fail to take breaks, which usher in healing, our soul suffers. A suffering soul begs for lighter weights.
“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
To heal, we need to lighten the load of the things which we can control. After setting aside the influx of information informing me of the world chaos, the conflicting information, and the angry airings, I began the process of allowing God to point me in the smallest most beautiful ways toward soul care, and ultimately His healing hands.
Withdrawing from the noise
My soul carried grief throughout the year from information and insights my mind allowed in through an abundance of time on social media. There seemed to be a low-lying sadness which lingered within me on days I consumed more social media than the healthy allowance.
As I read Matthew 14 recently, the compassion of Jesus melted my heart.
After John the Baptist was beheaded, the disciples buried his body and delivered the heartbreaking news to Jesus:
“When Jesus heard about it, He withdrew from there by boat to a remote place to be alone. When the crowds heard this, they followed Him on foot from the towns. As He stepped ashore, He saw a huge crowd, felt compassion for them, and healed their sick.” Matthew 14:13-14
In His sadness, Jesus withdrew from the crowds, the noise, the demands. Seeing the humanity of Jesus in this passage showed me stepping away was the next right move for my soul.
In my sadness and weariness, I withdrew too. I stopped the scroll, blocking out the shouts and noise, which employ every tactic imaginable to hijack my attention. Once I silenced the online world, I began to hear His healing whispers.
Jesus sees you
It’s worth noting, while Jesus attempted to withdraw from the crowd, they still pursued Him:
“As He stepped ashore, He saw a huge crowd, felt compassion for them, and healed their sick.” Matthew 14:14
Just as he saw those in the crowd that day, He sees you, too. He sees your weariness. He sees your mind overloaded with more information than He ever desired you consume. He sees your scar-covered heart from the wounds of sadness of all you’ve been exposed to. He sees your fragmented thoughts from conflicting articles and posts. He sees you. He has compassion and desires to heal you.
First signs of soul healing
In the first few days of my social media detox, I saw immediate results.
My heart rate slowed to normal, and my mind cleared. I was less agitated and annoyed by my normal, ordinary life and tasks. I no longer saw interruptions as intrusions. My distracted, frazzled state of mind became more calm, connected, and present.
I began to crave the realness of life. Chopping vegetables became a healing touch of God on my soul. That sounds crazy, but it’s true. Simply performing mundane, ordinary tasks brought healing because a calmness had taken the place of my social media satiated mind.
Healing entered through connected relationships. I no longer stopped in the middle of a conversation to check a notification or see what someone responded or posted. I was fully present, body and mind. And that began to heal a part of my soul I didn’t see suffering.
I regained time. Time to sit on the sofa and flip through recipes, to say yes to taking a meal to friends, to listening to my son explain his next grand idea.
I created space in my mind. I began to remember to pray for the needs of others. I remembered why I stepped into my bedroom. I remembered to check in with friends.
The distraction disappeared. Sitting with my Bible, I was able to focus rather than reaching for my phone every few minutes. I was able to sit and read a book without a wandering mind.
I began to exercise again. It wasn’t only a lack of time; it was a lack of motivation. My screen-heavy diet created in me a lack of drive to care well for my body, which is directly tied to our emotional state.
Cared for by God, we can care well for our souls as well as those around us.
In so many areas, God began to point me towards how to care for myself and those around me well. In doing so, healing began to take place. One small step at a time, one small ordinary moment at a time.
My soul had been groaning for months, and I’d learned to live with a suffering soul. All the while, Jesus saw me and invited me to lay down my burdens — the ones I picked up from constant connection to the world — and to take His yoke, which is light. Then, He invited me to bring my soul to Him for healing.
He extends the same invitation to you. He is ready to lighten the load your soul has picked up along the journey and heal you, one ordinary moment at a time.
This post was written by our guest author, Renee Robinson. Renee is married to her high school sweetheart and homeschools their 3 teenage sons. She writes to inspire and encourage others to live with intentional purpose and a deepening faith. Renee also creates scripture pillowcases and inspirational gift items to fill homes and hearts with more of God’s Word. You can find her at www.Renee-Robinson.com.
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