It occurred to me that I deactivated my Facebook account around this time last year. How does it feel to be Facebook free? It’s still working for me. That doesn’t mean I’m anti-Facebook. It means I know my tendencies, and must limit social media for my own peace of mind.
Technology is a double-edged sword. While it’s mind-bogglingly cool to have this worldwide venue to express ourselves, the open-forum Internet easily becomes a platform where many react from defence and ego when their beliefs are challenged.
Using social media responsibly requires conscious attention and self-awareness. If we are not wise to our own projections, we might attack the other instead of looking within.
I speak for myself more than anyone. For several years, I followed a woman on YouTube who regularly posted on spirituality and emotional healing. Her videos were targeted to sensitive people, and they brought me much comfort and guidance.
But in recent months, her channel has changed direction. She now posts exclusively on Jesus Christ and the Bible as the (only) true path to God. Her messages have included warnings to not practice yoga, for example, as it is ‘Luciferian’ in nature and invites demonic spirits in. Having studied many forms of new age spirituality throughout her life, she now views these as the ‘false light’.
I was very triggered by all this. I didn’t even know this woman, but her previous teachings had been deeply healing for me, and I felt an odd sense of betrayal and emotional pain. I began to doubt my own spirituality, including my views on yoga and ascension.
I was angry…but at who?
When I’m feeling threatened, it’s usually not about the other person. If I’d been truly secure in my own beliefs, maybe I wouldn’t have been so upset by this woman’s new messages. I’d understand that others have free choice to believe whatever they want, and it can be truth for them. I’d trust that there was room enough for all, in a way my linear human mind couldn’t comprehend.
I’m not contesting the Bible or the life of Jesus here, and I mean no disrespect to this woman. But I recognize that her new content had activated my old feelings of guilt and shame for rejecting the religion I was born into, and for pursuing a more ‘new age’ path. And I felt fear. Paralyzed by the ancient notion of God watching, judging, and waiting to punish me for one false move.
It is my responsibility to deal with my reactions and responses. So I’ve been asking myself: What do I truly believe? What do I know? I’ve previously written on honouring the inner authority, yet here I became so invested in another’s experience. When it comes to God and spirituality, have I taken others’ word for it, to the point where I don’t even know what mine is?
Am I allowed a direct relationship with the divine? Do feelings of unworthiness block me from receiving this? Can I be unshakable in my faith, but not so rigid that I proclaim my way as the only way?
My spiritual search has been about undoing the ego – a constant, likely never-ending process. And with that comes humility. The ability to admit that I don’t know.
Here in the west we have so many philosophies, including yoga, to choose from. But does one or the other make me more ‘spiritual’ or ‘ascended’? Perhaps I don’t need to do so much, to try so hard. (I’m reminded of my trip to Italy, where I felt very connected to God while taking a break from all things I considered spiritual.)
On this planet of limitless preferences, I would think that there are endless ways to express and embody love. If God can feel this frequency in us, this sincere desire, maybe little else matters.
And here, technology becomes the blessing. Through sharing perspectives, it raises questions that – with conscious awareness – bring me deeper into my own truth.