Spiritual Life: August 2012 Archives
Many people are plagued with FOMO. Do you know what FOMO is? Think: Fear of missing out.
Why ain't I doing this? Why ain't I at that party, in that conversation, being recognized for this and that achievement. FOMO questions our making of the right choices? FOMO wants to advance my cause. The other as other counts for little. FOMO paralyzes our humanity because its focus on the sentimental, superficial, on the unfocussed. It reduces our human relationships to an object. FOMO is a post-modern way of speaking of deadly sin (mortal sin). FOMO leads to the death of one's personhood.
FOMO is an insecurity not only in social circumstances but also, and more importantly, in the spiritual life. It is a reduction of our religious sense, a reduction of someone greater. FOMO is not living life in the present moment. FOMO is the sin of envy, pride, and self-centeredness. It is the un-awareness that you can't do it all. Reversing the effects of FOMO is the recognition that you are not able to be everywhere at all times. Most people are not given the gift of bi-location. Saint Padre Pio had the gift, but he likely used it for the building the Kingdom of God and not his own agenda.
Do you have joy? Do I love? What fills me with anxiety? How does Christ answer the desires of my heart? Are you aware of the gifts that are in front of you? Can I discover my true self in the life I lead, in the work I do, in the person I am? Are you bitter towards others? Are you aware that you are loved by God and others for the person you are, and not the person you think you are, or should be? The focus on Christ overcomes FOMO because it's less about the whim (what could have happened...) and more on the certainty that Christ exists, that He's a concrete reality and that only God makes and sustains us. say it another way, attention to the religious sense in my life (and other others) acknowledges that God has a tenderness for me -- and this tenderness is a sign of a relationship with Him.
Above I mentioned that FOMO is a reduction of one's religious sense. What does that mean? Well, look at it this way: what are the desires of your human heart? How do these desires of the heart allow us to see the attractiveness of everything, even to consider the implications of a desire's inadequacy. The masters tell us it is not enough to be aware of the religious sense, the religious sense has to push us forward in our relationship with God (the Divine Mystery) so as not to lose my personhood, my "I".