Choosing to be Present

Two years ago I completed over 200 levels of Candy Crush in just a few weeks. I enjoyed playing video games because they made sense and gave me a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Video games were easy to navigate, unlike people and social atmospheres.

Shortly after that time I gave up video games for the next 6 months.

I don’t play video games anymore. I still enjoy them and will play in social situations, but I don’t play them by myself. During those 6 months I did so much good. I helped with dishes, played with my niece and nephew, and recognized and responded to needs of others.

When I went back to video games those actions disappeared. I didn’t have time to notice the world around me because I was too involved in my own world. At one point, I made a decision. I could either avoid pain and rejection, failure and loss, by disappearing into myself, or I could choose to experience the raw, uncomfortable emotions of life and make a difference for others.

This is a continual choice. Whenever I find myself being sucked into media, games, or anything else, I ask myself, “is it worth it?” Do I want to live my life in safety or in love? Do I want to go through life or live my life? And who will my decision affect?

As a single person with few responsibilities, it would be easy to become lost in myself. I don’t want that to happen though. My life will be shorter than I desire. I can’t afford to waste time living in safety and emotional distance. I choose to be present. And I will continue to do so until the choice is no longer mine.

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3 thoughts on “Choosing to be Present

  1. When I was growing up I spent a great deal, I mean a GREAT deal, of time playing video games. They’re addictive, shiny, easy to lose yourself in. I’ve had some fantastic moments in gaming but to be honest I wish I’d never been interested in them in the first place. I do still play but not very often and usually only multiplayer with my brother and is more of an excuse to chat. As you say though when I look back at my life I never reflect on that moment I finished that paticularly gard level or completed a level in record time, I think about the places I’ve been to and the people I’ve me. REAL people. Enjoying the blog 🙂

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      • I don;t often play these days to be honest, but, if you do ever find yourself wanting to try a game can I recommend a game called Journey. I only say this because it plays only for about one to two hours and is more of an ‘experience’ than a game. But certainly I try not to get ‘lost’ in them myself. My wife, who also has Asperger’s, can become completely and utterly engulfed in a game and will not leave it until she has completed absolutely everything. Needless to say that she limits her exposure to Computer consoles too these days. 🙂

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