This week I rejoined Instagram because (of course) I needed something to waste more time on.
I had an Instagram account years ago, but decided to ‘archive’ it when it became unhealthy for me. My life was much different back then since I was still struggling with my depression and I was easily triggered by things on social media.
Thankfully that is not an issue anymore.
Since I live overseas, having Instagram is a good way to follow what family and friends are up to back home, and they can also keep track of me. Plus, I now work with teens and young adults, and most of them have Instagram, so it’s another form of connection with them.
And finally, one of my lockdown projects has been writing a book of poetry and I realized I would need platforms other than Facebook to share on when it’s done, which will hopefully be soon.
(I’m also working on a novel so stay tuned for that!)
If you’d like to follow me on Instagram where I’ll be giving sneak peaks of my poetry book, please do: instagram.com/becky.ferg
I try not to spend a lot of time on social media because a) it’s too easy to get lost in it for hours, and b) it can still trigger some unhealthy behaviours which lead to insecurity, such as the deadly ‘comparison’ game. Of course, during this time of a global pandemic, we are spending even more time on social media.
When browsing these platforms, it can be easy for me, like so many others, to get pulled into thoughts of, ‘everyone is much prettier than me, everyone is so much fitter than me, everyone is so much smarter than me, and so on’.
And when I first started scrolling through Instagram at the beginning of this week, I admit that I began to have some of those thoughts. With the state of our world, and the fact that we feel like everything is on hold even though time presses on, we are much more vulnerable to unhealthy thoughts, negativity, and feeling inadequate.
I am grateful that I am at a place in my life where I immediately recognize this unhealthy pattern and can stop myself from going down that rabbit hole. This week I had to tell myself to ‘shut up’ (in a loving way), and remind myself that I am awesome and my life is good.
I don’t mean this in a conceited way. I know I’m not perfect. I’ve got too many flaws to count and I definitely don’t always have it all together. I mean, I’m so clumsy and uncoordinated that I can barely go a day without tripping over something or running into something (I’ve got the bruises to prove it). I often say things without thinking and have a tendency to act impulsively. I’m stubborn, and I don’t like to be told what to do.
But I also know that I am kind, loyal, generous, friendly and funny (sarcasm, inappropriate jokes and self-deprecation are my go-tos 🙂 ). I can laugh at myself. I accept my flaws, and I work to be better each day. And I know I’ll eventually master walking without tripping (or maybe not).
I know my worth because I find it in Jesus. I know I am valued and I am loved.
As a missionary, I work with youth in the Czech Republic, which I absolutely love. A couple of days ago, during the Bible study I lead, we were talking about social media and the dangers of comparison.
We read some scripture about comparing ourselves to others, and then had a great discussion about how God designed each of us uniquely. We talked about how we are all valued, worthwhile and special.
We talked about the fact that there is no one else just like us. There is no one else exactly like you and there is no one else exactly like me. We are made intricately and beautifully by God and God doesn’t make mistakes. No one else can fulfill our individual purpose in this world.
I am constantly amazed by the youth I have the privilege of working with. They are so much smarter and more mature than I was at their age. Yet, they face things I didn’t have to. I was bullied as a teen, but at least we didn’t have social media, where people tend to be much more cruel. There was no cyberbullying 20 years ago.
Yet, the students I know here have a grace and wisdom beyond their years. They still struggle, especially with comparison, but they are also not afraid to be true to themselves.
Honestly, I think I learn more from them than they do from me.
This week I was honoured to be able to remind my youth that they are important. They matter.
And so do you.
Love yourself and love others. We witness so much hate and pain in this world. Stand against it. Do something good for someone else.
This post today is as much for myself as it is for others. I needed this reminder, and I know I’ll need it again in the future. I’ll need it on those days when I feel like I am not enough – not good enough, not smart enough, not thin enough, not pretty enough.
Then I can read this and remind myself that I am enough.
Since I needed this reminder, I thought maybe someone else would too:
You are enough.
This topic also inspired a poem, which I hope you like:
The slow death of the soul
Robbing of peace
Am I enough?
Immediately transferring me back
To when the mirror was my greatest enemy
Reflecting the shame and hatred
Of the girl I used to know
Scars still visible
Wounds held within
How quickly we can return
To past anxieties
Comparison is a slow death
Like a thousand cuts
A heart disintegrating
Turned to dust
Despite being older
Despite being wiser
I fall victim
To its prey
Counting my imperfections
And all the mistakes I’ve made
Withering under the force
Until I find strength again
To see I am enough