Monday, December 9, 2013

Party Girl and The Monk: At War over Facebook

I've been thinking about my daughter who honors her artist self by staying off Facebook. I've tried giving up social networking many times in an attempt to protect creative energy.

But it's a struggle.

Every time I walk away, I'm pulled back in by the desire for conversation. I've been at war over this for quite a while.

Until recently I found some insight. 

Jenna Abernathy is a hunger psychology coach who helps people with food issues. She talks about being at war with a part of yourself, and what you can do about it.

Her video, "Your Food Rebel vs Your Inner Intentions," offers a twist on conventional thinking. She asks: What would happen if you embraced both sides of the struggle? 

It's the same with me and my online issues - I have to look at both sides.

I figured out I have two forces at work within.

There's the Monk. That's the side that craves quiet, discipline, and separation from the rest of the world. The Monk rants when I spend "too much time" online.

The Monk scolds when I'm out exploring, mingling, or visiting. The Monk thinks I should be sitting home, meditating, writing, and replenishing energy.

Then there's Party Girl.

Party Girl wants to chitchat with the whole world. She is charged by the exchange of ideas, and loves every face in her Facebook feed.

The Monk has been trying to get the upper hand. The Monk has been telling Party Girl she's all wrong. What Jenna has shown me is that I need both sides of my personality. Neither side is going away.

I've been pushing away Party Girl, telling her she's a flake, a flirt, and the source of my problems. But now I'm appreciating her.

She connects me to people. She's curious and fun and talkative and passionate. She starts conversations. She gets things going.

Yes, I need the Monk, to embrace the silence, to go deep into my creative and spiritual life, and to stick with things for the long haul.

But what I need most is one hundred percent self-acceptance, letting each part show up when it needs to, without judgment, scolding, or resisting.

Each artist has to find her own equilibrium balancing inward and outward movement. Thank you to my daughter, for showing me the possibilities, and thank you to my friend, for guiding me toward balance.


kimmanleyort said...

What a cool post - inward and outward movement is really what the contemp,ative life is about, isn't it?

Christi Krug said...

Thank you,Kim! Yes, and I'm discovering it's also about accepting a true assessment of myself over some idealized "spiritual" version.