Photo: Joydeep Sengupta
While crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a wonderfully relaxing cruise, my husband and I spent six straight days “off the grid,” disconnected from the internet and our normal digital life. We were free from our worries and cares and social media, whisked away to a seeming utopia. We didn’t have to cook, clean, or be responsible for much of anything. Our toughest decisions each day were how to spend our time and selecting which food options to indulge in.
And you know what I found? I didn’t miss my digital life. Well, I did some. At times, I wanted to do a quick Google search for on-the-spot research. And as soon as I could get back on the internet, I did, to see what had transpired in my time away.
What I found was that the problems and stressors I had had before going off the grid were still there when I returned. Just because I had run away, so to speak, didn’t make those issues vanish. They were still waiting for me, waiting to be addressed.
I fought the urge to go back into hiding and avoid the drama altogether. The effort would have been futile. The only way I could truly evade the issues was not to evade them at all but to face them head-on. And so that’s what I did. I stared them in the eyes and dealt with each one. And in doing so, I found freedom.
In a similar way, our internal battles can hold us captive. We can try to cover them up with other things, such as emotional eating. But it doesn’t truly take them away. No, it’s not until we face our issues squarely and work through them that we truly overcome and can put them behind us.
It’s good to get away and take a break from our problems. It can provide a fresh perspective. But they still have to be addressed. So whatever hardship you’re dealing with, here’s a tip: You’ll get through it faster if you face it head-on rather than trying to skirt your way around it.
Christian, wife, mother of 5, breast cancer survivor, marathon finisher, writer and editor, author of "Help! I'm a Science Project"