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Reconnecting: A Challenge for 2017

In our day and age, with social media and the internet so readily available, it can become so easy to feel like we are connected without ever really connecting.

You know what I’m talking about—the 400+ friends on Facebook, the followers on Twitter and Instagram, the tumblr blogs and the Snapchat stories. But when the darkness hits, how many people can you turn to?

So much of what we have learned to see as “relationships” are really just a shell, a hollow version of what they can be.

Or perhaps you’re like me and you realize that you spend far too much time mindlessly scrolling through social sites, time that you could be investing into friendships or family—even if those investments are done via the internet, you could be making meaningful contact.

Or maybe that time could be put to use developing a new hobby, reading a book, listening to a podcast.

Whatever the case may be, (and I am certainly not here to say that we should all abandon all social media forever and ever) there are so many ways that social media and online interactions can make us feel like we are connected without ever making the demands on us, or giving us the fulfillment, that real connections would.

A challenge I have given myself for this year—and a challenge I’d like to put before you today—is this: Find ways to reconnect. If for you that means reconnecting with an old friend and investing time into that relationship, do it. If it means taking yourself on a coffee date and sitting down with a blank piece of paper and finding your own heartbeat again, do it. If it means finding a new way to care for yourself, others, or all of the above, do it.

Take a breath. Step away from the flurry of shallow interaction that can become so normal, and look for the ways to have genuine connections.

I’ve found that this is a sure way to help with some of the negativity so prevalent on social media these days. Stepping back really helps you refocus. For me, this looked like deactivating my Facebook (at least for the time being) in order to better focus on personal goals and changes.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the frustration and anger, and so hard to weed out the good and beautiful.

So here is my challenge for 2017—both to myself and to you: Find what makes your soul thrive. Take a chance on one of those dreams you’ve always wanted to pursue. Plug into your local community. Grow roots, grow strong. Take care of yourself. Take care of others. Reconnect and love.

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