What I did when I felt like my life wasn't enough

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In April, I quit my job. In May, I quit using social media apps on my phone.

I didn’t expect the anxiety deleting my social media apps would cause.

I wrote about my journey to what I call now digital minimalism on iBelieve.com this week. I want to share something here about it that I didn’t share in the post on iBelieve.

I loved going on Instagram before I deleted the social media apps. If you’d asked, I would have told you it was my favourite social app. I found the pictures soothing and enjoyed quick glimpses into my friends and families lives.

After deleting the apps, I’d go on Instagram from time to time and scroll through the pics. I started to recognise a feeling I hadn’t expected each time I opened it: discontent.

I’d scroll through a few pictures and feel so discontent with my life. I’d see pictures of people travelling and wish it could be me. I’d look at friends spending time together and wonder why I wasn’t there. Photos of meals I’d love to eat, pictures of places I’d love to run through…The list was endless.

I would close the app and sit there feeling like my life isn’t enough.

I didn’t like feeling that way. One day after opening and quickly closing the app after the bubbles of discontent floated up I sat and thought about what was happening. Was I really discontent with my life? Were these feelings real or were they a reaction to using the app?

I thought about how I felt before I went on Instagram.
I felt like I had the best life.
I loved my life.
It felt full.
My life felt enough.
I felt content with my life.

I go on Instagram less and less. Before I quit using social apps on my phone, it was a couple of times a day. After, it was once a week, then once a fortnight and now I can’t remember the last time I went on.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the last few months. And I keep coming back to this verse Psalm 16:11 (Voice),
Instead, You direct me on the path that leads to a beautiful life. As I walk with You, the pleasures are never-ending, and I know true joy and contentment. 
Part of me has wondered if choosing to stay off Instagram is the coward’s way of learning to be content in every situation.

This verse helped me realise that we can choose contentment. That is what the “Instead” signifies to me. “Instead” means to do something in preference of something else. It means I can choose going outside over going online.

Instead, has become a powerful word for me as I pursue digital minimalism in my life.

I could feel discontent instead I thank God for everything he has given me.
I could feel alone instead I remember God is Emmanuel (God with us).
I could feel worried instead I look at the Sparrows and wonder at how God takes care of them and me.

I chose this translation of Psalm 16:11 because it reminds me that when I choose to look to God instead of dwelling on my feelings, my actions lead me toward a beautiful life of true contentment.

Some translations write this verse as “In your presence is fullness of joy”. Isn’t that a great description of contentment?

Want to read more of my story about what happened when I deleted all the social media apps from my phone? Click here to read the full story on iBelieve.com

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