Day Eight: iLove You
Week Two is finally here! WHEW! Now that we have sufficiently stretched our phone fasting muscles, it is time to run! This week we will begin a seven day #SmartFreedom journey with the VIRTUES! How can phone fasts and virtues work together? We're about to find out... Depriving ourselves of attachments has great value and efficacy, but building up some good habits can lead us to virtue. And virtues, my friends, are what will keep us on the right path long after our 21-Days are done!
P.S. Here's the Checklist again incase the challenges are getting difficult to remember:
#SmartFreedom Challenge Checklist:
No phone while driving (See Day Two).
No phone during meals (whether alone or with others) (See Day Three).
No phone in the bathroom (See Day Four).
No phone for your morning alarm clock (See Day Five).
Complete phonexamination of conscience (See Day Six).
Be Phone Free 1 Hour before bed UNTIL 1 Hour after waking (See Day Seven).
VIRTUE OF THE DAY: Love
Day Eight Challenge: MORE LOVE, LESS PHONE. For Day 8 (and all week if you can do it!) we will NOT USE OUR PHONES while with another human being.
Meaning: If I'm texting, scrolling, what have you, and a person walks up to me and starts a conversation, the phone goes off or in the pocket. No phones while in the presence of humans. That includes little humans. It does not include cats. Cats are not people. How else will you film a cat video if you don't have a phone? The internet needs you. But if it's a human. No phones. Take the time to stop looking at the screen and make some good old fashioned eye contact!
But really, what do you mean? Rather than sticking that tell-tale "just a minute" finger in their faces as you finish your text, stop, put your phone down, and engage. THIS RULE IS DIFFICULT!
Warning: When done effectively, this rule can lead to unintended consequences like friendship, connection, or vulnerability. Be prepared for your heart to grow a few sizes, and for the people you are with to be totally freaked out by so much eye contact. See the person in front of you. That's a big part of loving them.
I must say the phrase, "I'm listening, but I just have to finish this message" while texting-a-way 1 to 10 times a day. I am a huge offender when it comes to this rule! It is all well intended... we want to make sure the person on the other end of the text is feeling heard too. However, they are not there, in front of you, looking at the top of your head and your sassy finger as you pay attention to someone else. If we think about it... it hurts our feelings when other people are texting while we talk. Are they even listening? Are they texting about us? Why are they laughing? What meme did they get while I was telling my long and very interesting story? Our friend's FOMO leads us into some serious FOMO about whatever they are texting about! It is hard enough to connect, let down our walls, and share our hearts without a screen in the way!
St. Thomas Aquinas defined love as "willing the good of the other" and Saint JPII (Karol Wojtyla) took that definition further to include a "gift of self." If we want to grow in the virtue of love... how better to will the good of the other than to actually listen long enough to learn about what that good could possibly be? And what better gift of ourselves than our undivided attention?
Today we choose love. We will stop, acknowledge that other child of God in front of us, and love them. We will listen, we will talk, we will connect... and we won't look at our screens in their presence.
WE CAN DO THIS!