Food nourishes the body and mind, but what feeds the soul? It’s the things we absorb by seeing and hearing. The music we listen to. The books we read. The movies and TV shows we watch. When we consume information or entertainment, it has to digest somewhere. How it affects our spirits depends on whether it’s wholesome or just junk. The older I get, the more I realize that my actions, character, and morals are a reflection of the external influences I expose myself to—including media.
Letting Go of My Guilty Pleasure: Reality TV
I remember my first encounters with reality television. At the start of my preteen years, my obsession with Disney Channel slowly began to fade as my viewing interests turned to shows like The Flavor of Love and I Love New York. Inappropriate entertainment wasn’t permitted in my home, so I’d sneak to watch. Thinking I had nothing better to do in my junior high and high school years besides hop on social media for hours at a time, I spent a big chunk of my evenings, weekends, and summer breaks binge watching my favorite reality shows. As more and more programs aired throughout the years, my new obsession continued to grow.
I used to call reality TV mindless entertainment that diverted my focus from my own reality. Bad Girls Club, Real Housewives, Love & Hip Hop, Basketball Wives, Married to Medicine, The Braxton Family Values—you name it, I’ve watched it. Little did I know (or care) that something so minor would have this big impact of an impact on my behavior. It took me a while to realize that those tell-offs and catfights I looked forward to seeing every week were clouding my judgments on how to handle conflict. That delighting in someone else’s drama affected my energy. That by living vicariously through the success of others, it was delaying what God had for me on the other side of my procrastination.
As much as I hate to admit it, reality TV is my guilty pleasure, and I still have my struggles. The good thing about spiritual growth is that as your faith increases, your conviction does also—especially when you do things that are displeasing to God. When we made the decision to cut the cable cord in our home last year, it was a blessing in disguise. I’ve been able to wean myself off of reality TV as a result of not having as much access to it. I also find myself experiencing more joy and happiness, because of the fact that I have more time to do the things that align with my purpose.
5 Ways to Nourish Your Soul
Old habits die hard when they’re a part of your routine. I know how tough it can be to let go of them when they’re embedded in your day-to-day, but it’s possible.
No News Is Good News
Am I the only one who gets an uneasy feeling watching the news? Broadcast media outlets have been feeding fear, negativity, and lies in exchange for ratings for years. Believe me when I say, fake news is nothing new. You’ve probably also noticed that there are more bad news stories out there than good. The number of eyes glued to their programs are all the networks care about, and they’re willing to keep the ratings high by any means necessary. I chose not to fall prey to the media’s narrative of how things are, and I encourage you not to do the same.
Plug Out, Log Off
In times of social media overload, I’m the first to disconnect. Technology’s made it easier for us to keep in touch with current events, new information, our friends, and our family. Although the easy access is a blessing, it can be emotionally overwhelming when you don’t have a healthy balance between online and offline engagement. It’s easy to play the comparison game when your time on social media is spent following someone else’s “picture perfect” life, even though you may only see it in fragments. Social media is more of a distraction for me than a resource. My procrastination levels soar through the roof when I have Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn installed on my phone. That’s why I make the conscious choice to limit my intake.
Read Positive. Think Positive.
I start most of my mornings with biblical devotion, prayer, and a podcast episode. When I don’t, I notice the major difference in my day. My emotions get the best of me. My head isn’t on straight. I wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Spending my mornings with God gives me the spiritual fuel I need to have a fulfilling day.
Listen to Uplifting Music
I’m a true believer in the philosophy that faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17). What we consume by audio affects us more than what we read and watch. That’s why we’re so easily influenced and persuaded by music. My ears, these days, are geared towards positive listening. I don’t have much time to read anything besides my Bible. Podcasts and audiobooks have become my best friend as a result.
Watch What You Watch
Considering how much of an influence reality television made in my life, I’m careful of what I watch. Since we cut the cable cord, I’ve gotten more acquainted with YouTube vlogs and series, from Beleaf in Fatherhood to Mazelee. As my attraction to wholesome entertainment increases and my love for “ratchet TV” subsides, I’ve gained more positive influences through what I watch.
When you inhale joy, you exhale happiness.When you inhale joy, you exhale happiness. Click To Tweet