The Ocean of Affirmation

We all have things that keep us from our higher self. By higher self, I mean true self, the real ‘us’ that is not influenced, distracted or changed by the world – especially the world of social media. I can count on one hand the number of times I have logged on and experienced something meaningful and life-giving. It’s taken me a decade to realize why but the reason is simple. When I log on I do so with my lower self in order to brag, sound off or try to impress. I venture into the ocean’s abyss in search of affirmation and acceptance. Upon seeing the bell has turned red, I click and drink of the ocean only to feel even more parched than before. The more I drink, the worse I feel. I am adrift. And dying of thirst. I have learned this is the time to head back to shore – back to that place of solid ground and freshwater – where I find my true self waiting. And slightly annoyed.

Unsurprisingly, I have decided to change my relationship with social media. While it’s easy to make such grand announcements and resolutions, especially this time of year, my decision has been a long time coming. I can no longer afford to jump into the boat and head out to sea….what people are saying about me. I no longer have time for random scrolling/ rowing. But what’s one to do? We live in an ocean of social media. Logging out feels like drowning. Which is why I believe social media is at it’s best when it points us back to the shore. Back to that place of solid ground where we are meant to drink deeply, create, connect and most importantly, contribute. Rather than delete our Facebook again, perhaps we just need to repurpose it for a cause greater than ourselves? If we think in terms of contribution and only post those things that make for a better world, we won’t have to drown or die of thirst.

While we’re on the topic of change, I also plan to participate in something I’ve called the Becka Challenge. Inspired by my recently pregnant sister in law who had to give up drinking, I will be taking the next 9 months off from drinking in hopes of giving birth to a new life – which Becka just did btw. His name is Oliver, and he’s adorable 🙂 While drinking has never been a problem for me I find it zaps my motivation and brings unwelcome dullness and fatigue. I believe it dilutes my higher self and keeps me from achieving my full potential. So I’m learning to drink more tea.

2020 is synonymous with perfect vision. As I look ahead to next year, my 44th on this great planet, I have high hopes. There’s so much I want to feel and experience but there’s even more I want you to feel and experience. I feel a tremendous responsibility to be wonderful in this world for you, for us, and I can no longer afford to have anything negative or superficial distracting me. I probably should stop cheering for the Oilers too… 😉

On an upcoming podcast episode, we speak with the great Jim Gardiner. We talk about how Jim had it all yet found himself miserable. Comfortably miserable. When I asked Jim somewhat jokingly, “How could you be miserable if you were that successful?” Jim paused, then looked Andrew and I in the eye and said, “Because there was no contribution.” Jim’s amazing rock star life had begun and ended with himself. The truth of his words penetrated my higher self and I knew at that moment, I needed to be better.

Every Christmas Eve, I am reminded that It’s a Wonderful Life. As I drink from this great movie my tears come from a place of deep knowing. Our Life is Wonderful not because of what we know but because of what we don’t know -specifically, we don’t know how valuable our contributions to others really are. While our lesser self would love nothing more than to log on and try to see how valuable we actually are, real life doesn’t work that way.  While we can’t know we must continue to contribute…yes, even when the likes remain hidden.

In the movie, there’s a sign that hangs in George Bailey’s office:

“All that you can take with you is that which you’ve given away.”

One day, perhaps sooner than we think, we will die. All that will remain of our lives is that which we have contributed. Our legacy will be that which we’ve given to others.

Let’s make 2020 the year we finally saw things clearly.






One Comment on “The Ocean of Affirmation

  1. Beautifully written John, and perfect timing as I am taking a break form social media. I am puling back from it- but still have messages from folks if they want to get hold of me. Interesting that my friend Jim Ryan also wrote a post about Facebook and social media. I fond for myself, that to focus on my writing I need to stay off social media, and I also have to be in the right frame of mind to handle it. Good on you for knowing what you need, and tea is a lovely thing…Do what you need to do to be your authentic self, even if that means you are not do wonderful at times….thats all part of being human, and we all benefit from that. One of the things about social media is it shows everyone- or mostly everyone- when things are going great, but not when we struggle or things are going badly- which is too bad, because that is what it is like to be human. Oliver will be fortunate to have you as an Uncle. Thanks for the post- its beautiful, timely and gives me something to chew on. next time your up in this neck of the woods, if you have time we can meet and have tea 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: