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.