I received a message on my blog from a heckler who said that I “need to grow up” because I “live in a bubble”. I appreciate that they provided me with an excellent topic for a blog. So, the secret is out that yes, I do in fact live in a bubble, and I want to tell you all about it because it brings me great joy! For the sake of this post, I will define “bubble” to mean sheltered. I am totally sheltered and you can be, too!
The “Real World”
The things really happening around us, to include an often toxic internet, snarky, hate-filled programming alongside wholesome shows, wonderful art vs Painters of Light (not a fan of the garish Kinkade), deceptive advertising, earnest appeals, politics, human dynamics, people behaving poorly, people being kind, bills, finances, health good or bad, and the countless events and basic stuff. It’s the temporal world of things that are really happening. It’s a world we all must navigate, even if you are independently wealthy and live in a gated community. Of course some have privileges that act as buffers/a bubble but even they still live in this unpredictable world in a finite vulnerable body. Other fellow Gen-Xers out there know that bubble-living isn’t desirable from the lessons we learned from John Travolta, the Boy in the Plastic Bubble with the cutest dimples. (I had such a huge crush on him!)
Destructive Bubbly: I am coming up on 27 years of sobriety from alcohol. I used to self-medicate and seek shelter from my PTSD flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety by drinking. Sadly there are millions of people still suffering from this poor substitute for reality based, healthy, life affirming coping skills.
People Pleasing/Approval Seeking: Losing yourself in the tyranny of what other people think. We believe we can shelter ourselves from a negative self-opinion by catering to what we think others want us to be, or how they want us to dress. Basically it’s our ego catering to the egos of others. The Ultimate Arbiter is human and not Godly. Yikes.
Being Fashionable vs Stylish: The compulsion to buy the latest trend, whether clothing, kitchens or your hair and face or bra size. Fashion is generally fleeting and unsustainable not to mention expensive.
I could go on and maybe even write a little book about bubbles.
I live in the “real world” with all of its beauties and horrors, but I also I live in Reality. I do so with my eyes open, sober and grounded despite having my own handicaps. I can do so because I am Sheltered. It’s a shelter that is available to all people! No birthright privileges or cliche “farmhouse kitchens” in 4,000 sq ft houses needed!
Reality is the here and now. The house in which I live and the expenses to keep it safe and habitable. The land I own outside of my house and the taxes that need to be paid for it. The wildlife, bees and butterflies with which I co-exist. A finite budget. A handicapped brain that still torments me when I sleep, albeit nowhere near the way it has for most of my life. My blood pressure that rises too high when I obsess over the things I can’t control, have a flashback or nightmare or spend too much time reading things online designed to enrage vs engage.
What’s also real is how I choose to spend my time and my money, and even more importantly, where and to what I pay attention. Yankee Thrift isn’t just about how we spend our money!
I like what I like, even if it’s unpopular or specifically, perceived as Pollyanna, twee or “old lady”. (As an aside, my aunt told me yesterday that my great grandmother watched Lawrence Welk religiously! It runs in my family!) I also like music that would have made Tipper Gore clutch her pearls. I even clutch my own when I listen to it but I like it anyway. I can like metal and Sinatra, or old school hip hop and also “elevator music”. I’m selective about what I read, watch and listen to, and with whom I spend my time. That’s the beauty of freedom. It’s me keeping my mind which is my “side of the street” clean.
You see, the reason I survived the multiple violent and psychological assaults I experienced in my childhood growing up as a latch key kid in Manhattan during the the late 1970s and early to mid 1980s despite more things stacked against me than not is because I was sheltered by God’s love. I knew that it wasn’t “God’s will” for me to go through what I did, nor was it that I didn’t pray hard enough or that I wasn’t good enough for him. No matter what darkness tried to infiltrate my life, which did harm my mind and heart, nothing could touch my soul that is protected from the evils of the world. So yes, thanks to the love of God I am sheltered! And because I love God I shelter myself and God’s creations here on earth as best as I am able.