I stopped reading the news feed years ago, and now I have no access to it, being a public page. I’ve bragged about my disconnection to friends who can’t bear the fast twitched scroll of food pictures, selfies and check-ins.
However, I recognize there is a benefit to that feed and one that could save the world.
It is my opinion that the world’s extrinsic sufferings (injustice, poverty, disease, genocide, war) are symptoms of a universal intrinsic human need unfulfilled — the need to be heard, to be seen — to be loved.
We yearn to be connected and the more connected we are to others, the more powerful we become. Sure, we can use that power in many ways, and I choose to believe that power can be used to eradicate the world of its sufferings.
As much as I like to say there is no purpose to the selfie or the check-in, there is. It’s an attempt to get in.
We are all trying to find a way in — to connect, to validate and be validated – to belong.
Although the food pictures just lightly brush the surface of that connection, it’s a start, but in order to fulfill our needs, we must penetrate and dig all the way down to the magma and allow our struggles, pain, and secrets to erupt and ooze.
This is the path to healing, to connection, to saving the world.
“People learn more from hearing how others struggle than from hearing their solutions to their problems.” ~Patrick Callanan
We learn by witnessing — it’s how we develop from infancy through childhood and adolescence. We emulate what we see, what we define as strong and effective in surviving this life.
I could never say to my baby, “Crawl! Walk! Put one foot in front of the other!” Just as I could never say to my friend, “You deserve more, break up with him.”
My baby needed to see me get on my knees, one hand, one knee, one hand, one knee — she followed my lead.
My friend began to open to the possibility of a new life seeing my joy and liberation from an unhealthy relationship, which inspired her to do the same.
Years ago, I saw an opportunity — something that not many were doing at the time — talking about stuff that’s uncomfortable to talk about, publicly — weakness.
I did so because I was struggling inside and I knew through experience that what helped me heal and feel a sense of belonging was the knowledge that someone else was struggling, too.
I thought, “I am going to use my pain as a way to help others, so it doesn’t go to waste.” And you know what? It has. It’s helped. It’s helped others navigate their way through difficulties, empowering them to become useful in service to this world because I shared my struggles and in doing so it helped them feel heard, seen and loved.
I’m not the pioneer of vulnerability by any means, but in my “online community” I opened a door, and so have many others in their communities.
I believe vulnerability will save the world.
If we come together through our willingness to be transparent, by sharing the good stuff and the tough stuff — the more strength and stamina we have to fulfill the external needs of our world, through the satiation of our internal needs.
When we are loved, when we are seen, when we are heard, when we feel like we belong, we collectively become an indestructible force of goodness with a limitless potential.
Healing the world is only possible if we heal ourselves, first.
How do we heal? We share everything that happens between the selfie and the check- in – real life, our struggles.
We all struggle, but we don’t have to suffer – Suffering ends where belonging begins.
I have faith that knowing we are not alone will save the world, one status update at a time. ~Rebecca