For awhile now, I’ve been trying to make more space in my schedule and be more deliberate about what I say “yes” to and what I say “no” to, so that I’m not overburdening myself and filling up a social calendar without filling up my heart and head first. One thing that went into this was deciding to cut out TV when I’m by myself (though I still watch movies socially). it really wasn’t that hard because if I really wanted to watch a show I’d just have friends update me on what happened. And if you pay attention, “what happened” is usually nothing. That’s the way TV works: you keep dragging it out and dragging it out so that people always tune in. so the whole premise behind the script is to bide time.

And I think that the reason we buy into it and idly hand our time over to television remotes and subscriptions and the like is that we’re afraid of what we’re missing. we’re afraid that something good could be on the next page so let’s keep reading or watching the show—just in case. It’s really a dumb gamble of your time if you think about it; is the investment of one good tip or one good laugh really worth it?

and more recently i realized another reason why i’m glad i cut it out, and that’s because it distorts my reality and makes me fantasize about things that are in God’s hands. essentially: boys and how i want to fall in love. TV is just another outlet that reminds me that i’m still single and don’t have a man and don’t have this amazing, deep, never-awkward, never-boring relationship. and so it makes me long for it all the more. and it makes me start imagining what it could be like.

that’s not healthy. i need to break that habit because that keeps my head clear, it helps me see things as they really are and men’s intentions (or, more appropriately, lack thereof) for what they are (typically, that they’re just friends or absolutely not the kind that’s good for me). and coincidentally i’ve been much better at that (at keeping my head on straight when it comes to the male species) ever since i cut out tv. i think i might even be better suited/healed with my broken heart toward paul.

But the other day I decided to treat myself to some TV: an old re-run of gilmore girls, my favorite show that I have seasons and seasons of on DVD. it was the episode where Dean tells Rory that he loves her and she is caught off guard and can’t tell him she loves him back. and as i was watching the love story on the tv screen unfold, i could feel my heart growing envious–wanting that. of course i do that all the time in real life with real couples, but at least there i can reassure myself that perhaps it isn’t perfect or that if it is, someday God will give me that. but on the TV screen i know it isn’t real so i have nothing to condemn it for. because the fact that it isn’t real doesn’t make me want it any less. i start comparing my lack with an unrealistic fairytale.

there’s that verse about how your eyes impact/feed/nourish your entire being: “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness.” (Luke 11:34)

And though I didn’t realize before how true that was, now having gone without I can really see the difference. I really can see how the two are linked. It’s weird how the simplest and most innocent of things really can make an impact—whether for better or worse. Right now I’m listening to a podcast called “the theology of the body” that emphasizes this idea of how the body (what goes into it, what you do with it, etc) and the spirit are linked. Which makes sense….

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