An honest observation I blurted in social media was taken in a bad light and regarded as an attack recently. And since it was social media, the other person took it to his own space and expressed tirades on me. The comments were awful; people were quick to judge. I so wanted to speak in my defense, to tell them that I am not even coming from a space of hate. I so wanted to throw all my learning and finesse out the window and wrestle in the muddle. I am glad I did not. I admit that my statement was reckless and irresponsible. There was still no excuse and I take accountability of what I said.
‘So, that’s how it feels to be on the other side,’ I said to myself. You know, the side on social media that people throw tomatoes at – for being reckless, mean, judgmental, fake and whatever.
I realized then that what happened was representative of what I also feel my current space is before the Lord. Days before, I was feeling and embracing my sinfulness. I feel like I am not living for others anymore. I feel like my life, including my prayer had been full of convenience. I could scroll my phone for an hour but could only devote 15 minutes for reading the Scripture. I have not been charitable enough to people around me, not giving even my smile which I used to graciously offer in the past.
So there, hello from the other side!
It is on this side where I tried silence and reflection once again. It’s on this side where I wrestle with my mistakes, thoughts and came with these three things.
- I am not my mistakes and/or sins. (You are not your mistakes and/or sins)
We have to admit that we can be the most unforgiving, inconsiderate persons to ourselves. We sometimes let guilt eat us up even though we have been forgiven already. We tend to feel and embrace our unworthiness. Remember Peter, the leader of the 12? He made statements similar to this feeling. In Luke 5:8 when he saw their bountiful catch after they have worked all night and caught nothing before Jesus’ instruction, he said ‘Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man.’ Imperfect and sinful he may be, he was still used by God to build the Church.
My sins including my social media blunder made me feel ashamed to come before the Lord. But then I asked myself, ‘how long should I suffer being away from Him when I know He loves me immensely?’
That’s when I forgave myself and moved on. I went back to the Word which said that Christ died for me while I am still a sinner (Romans 5:8) and that nothing can separate me from Him (Romans 8:38). He is a God whose love is steadfast and unchanging (Deuteronomy 7:9).
- My real life does not happen in social media. (Your life does not happen in social media)
Who am I cannot be shrink to fit in any of my social networking site. No photo for Instagram can capture who I really am. The 280 characters of Twitter are not enough to translate the entirety of my heart. You too are more than what you put online.
I believe I have said this already, but let me say it one more time so as to remind myself too. Our real lives are the ones that cannot be captured by our mobile camera to be posted online. Our real lives are the purest and rawest moments that happen in our days – the connection we make to our children (or to strangers), the naiveté in our faces, the shared laughter among our families during weekends, the messages we understand in silence. These are the things we should strive to have and remember.
- My notes only said, Look inward.
I guess I am trying to reiterate Carl Jung when he said, ‘Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside awakes.’
It pays to always look inside, to have a heart check, to identify and purify our intentions. This is a sure way to avoid being reckless with what we say and what we react to. I believe pure intentions, thoughts and feelings only produce beautiful things. After all, we are all God-breathed. There’s always that magic in all of us.
I thank the Lord for putting me here, on the other side. It is in this side that I am reminded that I am always in need of His graces and mercy. The same grace and mercy I should extend to everyone, whichever side they may be.