In 2015, I made a New Year's goal to read the church magazine
the Ensign (now called the Liahona) cover to cover each month.
I found that my time spent reading uplifting articles and messages from the
Prophet and Church leaders was time very well spent.
There was so much wisdom and inspiration in its pages,
and heaven knows I need as much of that as I can get.
That goal is still in full-force as I recommitted myself
this past week to read all the 2021 issues.
In the December 2020 publication, I came across a fabulous article by
Chakell Wardleigh Herbert about making social media boundaries.
For years I've been blogging and on Instagram
and have seen the ups and downs, the good and the bad of social media.
I have been so blessed and inspired by so many wonderful people,
but have also seen the pain and cruelty it spews, too.
I've always strived to be true to myself, my life, my beliefs, and God,
and before every post, I ask myself questions that help direct my reason
for my posting. All my questions stem from my hope and desire to impress
upon my posterity (who will see my posts someday),
the importance of God, family values, happiness,
personal revelation, overcoming hardships, and missionary work.
Is that happening with every post? No, but I try.
I loved what Chakell writes in her article,
"When you truly realize your identity as a child of heavenly parents,
what more validation do you need? Knowing your worth brings
confidence in yourself that can’t be gained anywhere else,
especially on social media. There is everlasting happiness that comes from
trusting God’s view above anyone else’s."
I've been pretty consistent with blogging because it's been a wonderful
journal and a place where I can write and
share photos about my family experiences
and my dedication and love for the Savior.
But I've backed away from consistently posting on Instagram because
it's a cruel social media world, and I don't need any more confusion and
heartbreak in my life. Plus, it just takes up way too much of my time.
And I'm learning to put up boundaries.
Chakell writes, "Ultimately, your life belongs to you.
But when you share every piece of it, who then does it belong to?"
All of my inadequacies as a "blogger" come into full view when I receive
mean comments and e-mails with jabs
from my spelling to my writing, religious views, family relationships,
my appearance, my failures, and my children.
After getting messages like that almost daily, somewhere along the way
you start believing them... and sometimes I did.
Hence the boundaries. (And a wonderful husband!).
"Just like everything else in life, we can use social media wisely
when we give ourselves boundaries. Let’s be honest with ourselves
and mindful about what we share. And if feelings of emptiness sneak up on us,
we can make changes. The more we prioritize what really matters,
share appropriately, and treasure the intimate parts of our lives,
the less we will have to worry about others’ opinions, [and] potential regrets."