A while back, I was giving a talk to a room full of ladies of all ages. Some were single, some were married, and some seemed like they just weren’t sure (I’m kidding, of course). The topic that day had to do with temptations and addictions, and at one point, I was talking about something that I used to struggle with: watching romantic stuff. I used to spend hours in front of the TV and my computer, watching shows or movies with love stories that pulled all the right strings and got me hooked, to the point that I wouldn’t be getting enough sleep anymore.
I had to issue a disclaimer to my audience: I wasn’t saying that watching these things was a sin, but it definitely spelled T-R-O-U-B-L-E.
At those times, I was often depressed and lonely, but I didn’t think that it was connected to my habit of watching all those things. I mean, it’s normal for all women to love chick flicks, right? But the more I watched, the more the deadly emotions took over my mind and my heart. I would feel depressed about being single, and I would keep wishing my life was different.
But as I told these women, now I know better. You know how they say the eyes are windows to your soul? So it only follows that when your soul is sinking, you need to check what your eyes are seeing.
If watching romantic flicks (or reading romantic books) is causing you to resent your singleness or you find yourself chronically depressed, maybe–just maybe–you need to take a break from all the fiction. If you’re married, and you find yourself constantly comparing your husband to the leading men in the movies you watch, think again before picking up the remote control (and as I said this during my talk, all the married women in the room exploded in guilty laughter). Remember that the books, shows, and movies…they’re all fiction. Well, most of them are, and even when you come across one “based on a true story,” it’s still the Hollywood version of the truth.
You don’t have to cut them all out of your life. I didn’t. But I did take a break from them–a long enough break that allowed me to move on and do other more important or fruitful things with my time. I still love romantic comedies, but when I do go and watch one, I enter with a guarded and prepared mind, and a heart that can’t easily be swayed. This time, I know what the consequences are if I get sucked in again, and frankly, I’d rather not go back to those depressing days. For the same reason (and for other reasons that have to do with time and productivity), I rarely watch TV anymore, unless something big is on…like Game 7 of the NBA Finals. But that’s another story.
Do you feel your soul sinking lately? Do you need to have your eyes checked?