Last night, we took my sister to see Bon Iver at the Gibson Amphitheatre as a surprise. It was really fun to surprise her, and it was a really beautiful show. It was also really emotional for me in a way I didn't expect.
As I was sitting there, in the dark, listening to the most gorgeous violin solo that lasted for several minutes, I started to cry. I wasn't crying because it was so beautiful. I was crying because I didn't feel anything. I used to feel music in my soul. It used to stir things up in my heart to the point where I felt like I would burst. I used to feel a lot of things that way. But, lately, I just feel kind of numb. I definitely still experience negative feelings, and I experience mildly positive feelings, but something changed, and I hate it. I don't feel passionate about anything anymore... and passionate has always been the most popular word people use to describe me.
As I was sitting there, crying because I couldn't feel anything, I started thinking a lot. I was brainstorming what to do. I'm not the type to roll over and die. If I have something to complain about (which is often, honestly), I do something about it. I thought back to the times I felt overjoyed. Then I thought of how I've been feeling lately. I realized that I was still experiencing intensity in my emotions... it was just on the wrong end of the spectrum, the negative end. I realized that I've been making a lot of negative deposits in myself lately. Then it clicked! I thought of a couple blogs, in particular, that bring out negative feelings every time I read them. Then I thought of a couple Twitter and Instagram feeds that do the same thing to me. In my head I heard, "You need to stop following ______."
The second I resolved to do so, I felt instant relief. I felt a little flood of joy and lightness. The music started touching my heart! It sounded different! I got up, right in the middle of Re: Stacks, went to the lobby, and unfollowed everything that felt like a negative influence from my phone. I went back in and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the show. They played Flume and Skinny Love at the encore, and I had my so-beautiful-my-heart-might-burst moment. It was good to be back.
This may sound kind of lame... it's just the Internet, after all. But even something like a blogging hobby can have a harmful impact. If the input is negative, the outcome will be too. It felt like it had become a little roadblock. I needed to clear it away to make room for the good.
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling
your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable,
authentic, compelling, gracious - the best, not the worst;
the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise,
not things to curse.
(The Message version)