Over the past six months, as my time off of Instagram and Facebook has extended longer, there came a point where I found myself working though how to explain why I had been away.
That exercise surfaced many reasons. On the most basic level, I have been busy doing other things. It’s true. But a lazy excuse that I won’t allow myself to use.
Also true: part of me just didn’t want to be on social media for a while. Which is why it became easy to be busy with other things — even legitimate things that kept me offline. But this, too, feels like a vague reason.
And so I’ve put myself through a process of digging deeper beneath the surface of these reasons.
What was I busy doing? Why didn’t I want to share and engage on social media?
These are questions I’ve spent considerable time exploring over the past few weeks.
Why Do I Need An Explanation?
Of course, I don’t owe anyone an explanation.
There’s no rule that says we need to be engaged on social media — even if we run a business. In fact, there’s plenty of evidence — growing by the day — to suggest that we’d all be healthier and safer if we abandoned these platforms altogether.
So why even bother probing my reasons for staying offline over the past several months?
Because the exercise itself has value.
I’m a questioner — I question everything, incuding my own stories. And I probe deep. Surface answers don’t work for me — not from others and not from myself. That’s why I trained as a Sacred Depths Coach.
I am also particularly interested in uncovering the unconscious processes that shape our actions. I do not spare myself the process. In fact, I begin with myself.
We are not as different as we believe ourselves to be. I know that the patterns I uncover in my own behavior exist in others too; they are not uniquely mine.
The Power of Specifics
Claiming “busy” is a lazy generalization that masks truth.
Abandoning “busy” for the truth of “I just didn’t want to” is already a step toward freedom. But even that is a generalization.
The power here lies in the WHY.
Truth lies in specifics.
Freedom lies in specifics.
In probing beneath my generalizations, I’ve uncovered fears, judgments, limiting beliefs, expectations that I’m trying to meet (beyond the expectation to be active and engaged on Instagram and Facebook), and my various forms of resistance.
The majority of what I’ve uncovered is not even about social media. (One universal truth: It’s never about the surface thing.) My break from social media is merely the vehicle that allows me to surface them.
For example, exploring why I feel I need to explain my absence reveals an expectation and belief that I hold.
This Is The Work
If left in the shadows, these judgments, fears, beliefs, expectations, and resistance will continue to control my behaviors and thoughts. By bringing them to the surface, I can work with them and through them so that they no longer run the show.
This is The Work. The Inner Work. It’s not flashy. It doesn’t create “content.” Instead, it creates a space in which we can come to know ourselves more completely.
We don’t owe others explanations for our actions. When we choose to offer an explanation, it’s nice if we can show enough respect for others to offer honesty.
What’s most important, however, is to show ourselves enough respect to be honest with ourselves.
Radical self-honesty is an essential ingredient of self-acceptance, self-compassion, and self-love.
And it’s crucial to freeing ourselves from what holds us back.