Guam’s population is 172,911.
The population density on Guam is 319 per Km2 (825 people per mi2).
In Maryland alone, there are over 6 million people.
6 million – 172,911 = 5 million, 827 thousand, eighty-nine
That is how many more bodies surround me daily at home. How much energy I feel constantly swirling around me, positive and negative alike.
I am an extremely sensitive person and my energy levels get depleted easily, something that often leaves me feeling stripped and barren. Spiritually I have been exhausted.
It’s no wonder to me as I compare the two worlds. There are so many less bodies. And the ones who do live here, they just get it. They get LIFE. It isn’t caught up in labels and fashion and technology.
We live in a world that has convinced us that by staring into a phone for 12 hours a day is connection. That updating Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and the like links people together. Does it though? Does it really?
For me the answer is no.
For me I feel the least connected I have in my entire life because I have allowed these things to consume me. Overstimulate me. Distract me. Numb me.
I have been documenting my life but at the same time letting it pass me by–experiencing life secondhand.
Thinking of the angle of my picture before even experiencing the moment fully.
Consuming myself in the idea that to be perfect I need to document everything, or I am less than.
A less than mother, daughter, sister, friend.
Seeking validation from “likes” and “hearts”–that are what exactly in comparison to the gifts and blessings God has already given me?– that are right in front of my face but I have been too distracted to fully realize and appreciate the way I should be. Feeling the need to apologize for living my life instead of posting about it. Feeling this sense of inadequacy if I do something that I’m proud of as a mother, wife, or woman and no one knows about it, the thought that if it isn’t made public every second it must not exist. This need for people to know that I do things, that I do them well.
I don’t want that sense of self anymore. I want to create a life I want to indulge in all of the time and not hide behind a screen.
When I’m honest with myself, the times I found myself sucked into my phone or computer are times that I was unhappy with parts of my soul but wanted to distract myself from doing the work to heal. If I pretend to be too busy then those things can’t touch me.
Being here changed that for me.
I want to do the work. I want to feel the pain and the hurt if that means I get to the beauty on the other side. If that means my husband has a happier, stronger, more authentic wife, and my son has an emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically healthy mother.
I am a part of this earth, I am a thriving part of nature.
This means I go through seasons and I shed my own leaves and senses of self and I won’t shine all of the time, and that’s okay. I can always grow back stronger if I choose to do the work, and I do choose to do the work. I refuse to remain the same woman for 20 or 50 or 100 years, live the same way for years and years and years and then call it a life. Feel the same anger, taste the same bitterness on my tongue, rage the same nasty words with the same intensity and harshness and ugliness that I have. I have been lazy in my healing, leaving it up to chance and time to fix me when I need to do this actively and intentionally, all on my own.
I want to create an energy and life that I simply forget about my phone because I am too involved in the people I am with, the life I am living. I want to invest in a camera for this very reason so I can capture heart-swelling moments without the temptation of checking social media “just for a second” when that wasn’t my initial intention or need in that moment.
I’m setting free this expectation of constantly being “on” and no longer feeling a sense of guilt for it.
Yes, I want to access these technologies sometimes, but I want to do so in an extremely limited and controlled way. Once or twice a day. For a short amount of time, and in between long stretches of time. To post because I want to share a moment genuinely and not to satisfy a need of relevance and adequacy, or because I feel I’ll somehow be missing out on something monumental if I don’t. My posts will appear for very different reasons now. This way it truly can be a form of connection rather than disconnection and no longer a thief in my life.
I’m seeing that there is a part of the world that does this, that it works very well, and that these people are so incredibly happy. There is a light in so many eyes that you just don’t see in the states. There isn’t a palpable tension here. I truly attribute it to their authentic and slow way of living.
Yes, the scenery here on Guam is unquestionably beautiful and healing. I feel so connected to Mother Nature and earth in a way that I haven’t since I was a little girl.
I realize now I need this and will find opportunities to indulge in the world on a simple and spiritual level much more often. Hiking, walking–where there are no people. Allowing my bare feet to touch the earth and grass and watch my son do the same.
Breathe in the world, taste the images this world has to offer. Experience it fully with all of my senses. I want to live daily in such a way that I could describe my experiences with such passion, intensity and detail that a captured photo isn’t even necessary. Live in a way that if I must take a picture, I remember to do so swiftly and then return to the moment in front of me.
I let fear of the western world stop me from living. Realizing this is no life at all.
I could easily be swept away in a parking deck, or hit by a car by a drunk driver, or choke on my dinner safe in my home and die. And as I would enter the pearly gates I would be so sad and disappointed that I didn’t take every chance I had soaking up the deliciousness of this world because I was afraid. What life is that to live in fear. It is not living at all.
Fear is a lie. I have accepted Jesus Christ into my heart, my home, and my life and I am asking Him to direct my steps. I’m not leaving my life up to chance or the advice of others, or even my own past perceptions.
Those ways weren’t working for me and although I was always ready to love God, I wasn’t ready yet to jump in completely blind all of the time to what He has to offer me personally. I had in the past but I had fallen off the path. I do believe every time I have listened, truly listened and have been obedient to the gentle pull that he ignited inside of me, He has blessed me–such as with the serendipitous blessing of my husband, the gift of our son. I can take zero credit for these manifestations. It was during these moments of my life that I felt incredibly broken and lost but embraced it fully, submitted to the Lord with all of me in order for Him to lead me. I called out to Him to lead me and help to heal me. And He did. I can feel the gentle but blatant pull again.
I trust in the whisper of the Holy Spirit to guide me now and protect me and I want to participate in life the way God intended for me.
It is a personal relationship after all and His plan for me will be revealed if I relinquish control and give Him the reigns to lead me. I feel conviction in so many things I had been doing, saying, and seeing, allowing myself to participate in and allow to influence me and now I say no more.
It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone really, if it doesn’t that’s okay because it means this message simply isn’t for you. If it is, it will speak to you directly and you’ll have the ears to listen. But the thing is, I don’t mean it for anyone directly. It’s healing for me but I’m simply sharing my journey for those who’d like to come along.
I’m sharing because I feel this intense pull to pour my thoughts, emotions and prayers onto paper and make them public. My biggest hope is that my journey can offer comfort and be a light for those in the same season of life as me or those who are at the same spot as me on their walk. For me, this brings such comfort to my soul. And I truly I hope that it does for you, too.
With love and light,