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Published on August 29th, 2013 | by Nathaniel

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Guilty of Infidelity?

Guilty of InfedelityHold on… now that you’ve gasped, I’m not going where you think I am with this post. Traditionally, when we think of the word “infidelity,” we have flashbacks to movies like Jungle Fever, Fatal Attraction, or Unfaithful. We tend to think of it as it relates to marriage and monogamy- but did you know that infidelity is synonymous for any form of unfaithfulness?

This past weekend, the world nearly imploded when tweets about Miley Cyrus’s MTV VMA performance (spectacle) reached up to 306,000 tweets per minute. This microcosm of an event represents the shifting tide of our world. We’ve become increasingly obsessed with celebrity, so much so that we become guilty of vicariously fueling our own lives with the decisions, right or wrong, that other people make. We become so consumed with the details of other people’s lives that we neglect our own. By no means am I condoning or not condoning the former Hannah Montana star’s behavior;  I’m saying that five days after the fact, we have an obligation to move on with our lives.  

We’ve all been guilty at some point of cheating ourselves out of living our best life because of our focus on someone else’s. For some people, it’s an addiction to celebrity gossip columns. For others, it’s memorizing the catalogue of players on the Chargers’ offensive line, knowing their stats, their hometowns, and their whereabouts when not training. For some people, it’s what’s more accessible, shadowing their son or daughter’s every move or being able to recite on command an alphabetized account of every one of their social media friends or followers. It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to distance ourselves from our realities, wanting to escape what feels like the stagnancy, the struggles, hardships, and ever-so challenging tests that make life seem unbearable at times. I think it’s great to be entertained and thrilled- life should be enjoyed, but when we constantly do it at the expense of someone else’s life, we become more critical of others and less critical of ourselves.

In my experience, I’ve found that living through others only arouses feelings of intense criticism or jealousy, neither of which enhances my life. We have the gift of enriching our lives and the lives of others  when we authentically endure, live, and thrive in our lives. Often, what we think we need is an escape from the reality, when what we really need is a new way of enduring and manifesting creative change.

“Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Have you ever been guilty of living vicariously through someone else?

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