One of the reasons I quit social media is so I could spend as much of my non-working time away from my computer as possible. (It helps that I live in New York City and NYC summers are the bees knees.) Technology has a subtle — and devastating — way of isolating us while offering an illusion of connection and community at the same time. But if you ask me, the best of what life has to offer is passing us by as we fixate on our screens.
I was reminded of this on Sunday when I took an impromptu trip to Central Park. My intention was to take a nap when I got home from church, but once I got in the bed restlessness and anxiety took over. I did what I usually do when I’d rather not deal with my feelings: Worked on my business… Until my roommate checked me: “Why are you working on a weekend when you committed to not working weekends?” (Life lesson: Keep people who hold you accountable to your commitments in your corner.)
Anyway, once I got to the Park, I hunkered down at a bench and dove into a few pages of Marianne Williamson’s A Return To Love. I’ve been savoring every word of this book in spurts since February. I’ll read a section, then reflect and write for a few days or weeks on what I discovered about myself or my evolving interpretation of love. I’m grateful to be in a space where I can allow gems like this resonate with me so powerfully:
"To remember that you are part of God, that you are loved and loveable, is not arrogant. It’s humble. To think you are anything else is arrogant, because it implies you’re something other than a creation of God.
Love is changeless and therefore so are you. Nothing that you have ever done or will ever do can mar your perfection in the eyes of God. You’re deserving in His eyes because of what you are, not because of you do. What you do or don’t do is not what determines your essential value — your growth perhaps, but not your value. That’s why God is totally approving and accepting of you, exactly as you are. What’s not to like? You were not created in sin; you were created in love."
As I walked out of the park, I felt lighter, optimistic, more like my usual self. (Another life lesson: It’s hard to realize how heavy life’s excess feels on your shoulders unless you change up your routine.) I think my energy was palpable: People stopped to ask me where I got my sneakers (at Aldo on sale for $40 a couple of months ago), if they could take me out for a drink (no thanks, I stopped drinking in February) and if I was an actor (watch out, Sterling K. Brown!).
Once on the train back home, I resumed listening to an Apple Music playlist. Lyrics from “Apple Pie,” one of my favorite songs both in life and from Todrick Hall’s “Forbidden” album, blared through my EarPods, the perfect punctuation mark to a perfect afternoon:
It’s easy like Sunday morning
Like rainbows when the storm ends
Like bluebirds fly
Easy like apple pie