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Social media is here to stay

January 26, 2011

I must admit that I've been very slow to jump on the social media bandwagon.  I have Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, but I don't use them much and I'm sure I only touch the surface when it comes to all the features available.  I don't understand why people think anyone would want to know that they just ate a giant bowl of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, it's snowing outside, or that they just finished cleaning up after a sick puppy.

As annoying as the personal updates are, in many ways the "professional" updates are worse.  Constant contact isn't necessarily productive or effective content.    I often wonder how successful some professionals can possibly be if they spend all day every day sending out tweets, Facebook updates, and changes to their LinkedIn profiles.  I simply find the never-ending updates and links hawking goods and services that I don't want or need to be very intrusive and irritating.

Perhaps it's because I'm an HSP/introvert that I find it all so overwhelming.  Or maybe I'm just old-school.  Whatever the reason, I'd better find a way to get used to it, because it looks like social media is here to stay. It pains me to say that, but I'm afraid it's true.  Don't believe me, check out this video, then you decide.

Icon image by mfinley designs.


January 25, 2011

The subject of forgiveness has been a ongoing theme for me for some time now - longer than I like to admit.  I've experienced a lot of pain in my life, and I've had lots of experience at forgiving.  However, I'm still fascinated by the process, particularly the correlation (or lack of it) between the intensity of the hurt and my relationship with the person who hurt me.  

While I could spend time analyzing how and why I forgive, or don't, it's irrelevant.  What matters is that forgiveness is something that I have to do, whether I want to or not, and whether it's easy or not.  It's not something I need to do for the people who've hurt me.  It's something I need to do for myself.  I've written more about the importance of forgiveness and the specific challenges of forgiving a family member at Suite101.

2010: The Year in Review

January 2, 2011

2010 started with such great hope and optimism.  While it got off to a good start, my enthusiasm for a great year didn't last long. From a potentially blinding eye problem resulting in major surgery, to the complicated and confusing end of an important relationship, to saying good-bye to a small business I'd run for nearly 10 years, 2010 was a year of endings.  

This season of grief has been overwhelming at times, but it has not been without its opportunities for growth.  I've learned a lot in the midst of the storm.

Things are not always as they seem.  Nothing made this point clearer than undergoing cataract surgery in July 2009, followed by emergency surgery for a detached retina only six months later. What we see with our eyes is rarely all there is.  Life would be so much richer if we could see our lives the way God sees them.

God is teaching us things even when He seems silent.  It would be wonderful if God called us on our cell phones or sent a text message when He had something important to say to us.  Unfortunately, He doesn't work that way.  God is communicating with us all the time, it's just harder to hear Him and know what to do when He seems silent.  But, it's during those times of silence that it's more important than ever to strive even harder for an intimate, personal relationship with Him.

Growth requires letting go. Situations and people enter our lives for a reason, and usually only for a season.  Rarely does a situation or a relationship last forever.  Part of maturing is learning to acknowledge that as we change, our needs and our priorities change as well.  We can be thankful for the learning opportunities that were provided when we needed them, yet still be prepared to gracefully move on when they are no longer working for us.  Periodically we need to reexamine our lives and take an honest inventory of whether the things and people we surround ourselves with our helping or hindering our spiritual and emotional growth.  We need to nurture and develop those things that are healthy, and gracefully let go of those that are not.

Sometimes acceptance is more important than rationalization.  Sometimes we can analyze and rationalize ourselves into knots, expending countless time and energy but never resolving the issue that challenges us.  I'm learning that understanding the what and why of a situation is not nearly as important as accepting the reality that it exists and moving forward accordingly.

If the shoe doesn't fit, maybe it's the wrong size.  Many of us go through life wearing other peoples' expectations, goals, and dreams, all the while thinking that they are our own.  If things just aren't working for us, or if we've achieved the trappings of success that we thought we wanted, only to find that something is still missing, maybe it's because we're not being true to our most authentic selves.

Despite facing one challenge and/or disappointment after another in 2010, I am thankful for the lessons I learned and the clarity I received about some things that have been troubling me for some time.  Perhaps most importantly, even though 2010 didn't turn out the way I'd hoped, I made it through and I'm entering 2011 with an even greater sense of hope and optimism for the New Year.

Wishing you love, joy, peace and prosperity in 2011!

Photo credit

2009 ·New Calling by TNB