I’m not sure how it happened. It was a slow drift. The drift of distractions. And I awoke to find myself lost in a sea of useless doing. It wasn’t because “life just happened” – it was because my unawareness of distractions happened. Distractions took me away from life; away from that which gives me life.
Grabbing this, grabbing that – hoping to find some safety in my desires, all the while, finding myself holding all that I desire not, I found myself in a whirlpool of everything which I could care less, and with a deep undercurrent of feeling unsafe.
Distractions keep us from questioning.
“What do I really want?”
Distractions disguise themselves – taking us further and further away from the shore – taking us away from a grounded foundation in which to build something of value in our lives. Instead, we follow distractions further and further out to sea, floating away, with no anchor, and no real safety because we can’t see the shoreline anymore.
What are we following into the deep dark sea of everything lost and useless? Many of us have been in the stream of distractions for so long, that we have no idea where or if there is a shore for us; so we stay ‘safe’ in the unsafety of distractions.
Why unsafe I say? because we are swirling, floating, lost – and we are too busy with distractions to notice. We get so distracted, that we lose traction to what we really want. When (if) we wake up from the distractions and realize how lost we are, we can then fear what we really want. This fear keeps people from waking up – a distracted life remains the choice.
We want to live a life of our choosing – not a life of being a puppet to click-bait and shiny lures. Maybe we started at sea to fish for what we want – but many of us are now being fished, baited, and choosing to swallow shiny lures of destruction.
What are we being lured into?
Let the unbeknownst be known. Too far it seems, out in the sea of distraction, we become too afraid to swim toward the shore – because there’s no guarantee there’s even a shore. What if there is no land for us to land? What if we drown before we get there – what if there is no there?
Paralyzed. We don’t get out of the boat. Too afraid. Safe in our unsafety. Staying in the safety of what is known; the distracted life. Too afraid to move toward what might be possible because it feels like a possible death. Death of what really? We are not in literal boats. Metaphorical this is. Are we going to risk death to try something new? To risk building a new life of value and worth.
Are all these distractions worth what we might be giving up? Are we willing to risk the death of distractions? To allow a life within us to emerge. What if there is strength, courage, beauty, and grace just waiting for us?
Distractions make us feel unsafe.
Distractions take us away from real safety and possibility. We begin finding safety in traction toward safe places. What are your safe places? What do you really want? What does “walking out your salvation” look like? Will you find safety in your saving grace? Do you know what your saving grace is?
Are you too distracted to notice? It might be an unknown place right now. It’s a process. A process to get from here to there. From lost to found. From out to sea, to the shore. Unknown safety feels unsafe because it’s not safe. Yet.
Begin letting go of distractions to know God’s traction for you.
It’s time to grow, nurture, and build safety. It’s time to pull away from the distractions. Like building a house. We pour the concrete first. The house will not provide safety from the storm (yet) because it’s in process. It’s a process of safety. A process of foundation.
To feel safe. To move away from that which is unsafe and move toward that which feels safe. We want to feel safe. We want to feel safe in our choices, and in the direction, we take our lives. We want traction away from the distractions.
We want to feel safe in our time-space reality – not wiped away in distractions. We need to recognize these things in our lives before we can begin the courageous work of moving forward.* What would make our lives better? And what distracts us from that betterment?
What distracts you from your own betterment?
If we can let go of distractions long enough to sit still (in the boat), we might be able to focus on a new direction – a new path. If we can look up long enough from the distractions, we might be able to see lights flickering on the shore. What are your distractions? What are the distractions that keep you away from what you really want?
What Keeps You Away from Your Beautiful Life?
What keeps you away? What keeps you away – distracted from your beautiful unlived life? A life that wants to be protected – protected from distractions. A life that wants to feel safe in the container of time and space. A life that wants to be lived, loved, and appreciated.
A life that gets ignored, unheard, unfelt – too distracted we are. No space in which to live the life that wants to be lived. Our real lives get pushed out of time and space – snuffed out by distractions. Our lives feel unsafe and unsafe they are because we choose distractions over our lives.
Our lives feel unprotected because we don’t set boundaries of protection in our time and space. We allow any distractions to enter in. The distractions become so loud – we can’t even hear the life that wants to be lived. Can’t hear, can’t see, can’t feel ourselves anymore.
Distractions blind us, deafen us, numb us.
“In a minefield of distractions,” he said.*
No wonder we don’t feel safe. Identify your distractions. Become aware. Then identify the life in you that wants to be lived. Become more aware of the beautiful life within you. Become more aware of your strength, your courage, and your grace. These are the tools in which to start building – they become your anchor, your life-raft.
They are here for you to use – to get out of all things useless. If we aren’t living lives of our own choosing – we won’t feel safe. I know not of anyone who does not want strength, courage, beauty, and grace. And I know not of any distraction that provides such.
Who and what is living our lives?
What distractions are doing our living? What distractions are filling up our time and space? And leaving us unfulfilled. Is all this useless doing keeping us busy enough that we don’t notice?
Recognize. Recognize – notice what is happening in your cognition.
Start to notice that we notice not. We notice not that we are unhappy, unsatisfied, unfulfilled, and feel unsafe. We notice all things not. So, we squirrel around and grab more distractions in hopes to feel happy, satisfied, fulfilled, and safe. An illusion is it.
The illusion of a distracted life.
In a fog we are. We can’t see clearly anymore, can’t feel clearly – we have lost ourselves amidst the mist of distractions. We can’t even recognize strength, courage, beauty, and grace. Gifts waiting to be cognized. Gifts waiting to be lived, breathed, felt, and known. We are desperate to find ourselves. To find the life within us that wants to be lived. We feel unsafe because our distractions have become our destruction.
It’s time for a new construction; no more destruction.
It’s time to pay (to give) attention to our internal gifts – then we can pay forward and feel safe giving our strength, giving our courage, giving our beauty, and giving our grace.
Practice (from Undistracted): Take some notes for an entire day on how you spend time between the projects and commitments in your life. Write down all the things that distract you from what you really want to do and what you want to commit to.
*All notations from Chapter One: Undistracted, by Bob Goff.
Thank you, Bob, for this beautiful book and reminder – for helping me get back on track in the traction God has laid out for me. May all my readers make their way to your book Undistracted.
“Pink Flowers”, Courtesy of Evie S., Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Rock in Lake”, Courtesy of Tom Gainor, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Wheat”, Courtesy of Kirill Perhin, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “PINK!!!”, Courtesy of Sharon McCutcheon, Unsplash.com, CC0 License