I spent several weeks in June helping my oldest son get all the practice he needed to take his driver’s license road test. And he discovered, as all of us who learn to drive do, that when driving on the highway, even small movements at the wheel can significantly change the trajectory of the vehicle when you’re traveling at 60 miles per hour.
The refrain he most often heard from me during those highway trips was, “Stay in your lane.”
So imagine the surprise and a certain amount of frustration when that became the refrain from my guides to me.
It went like this.
I was scrolling through Facebook, as one does, finding myself getting sucked into reading arguments about Covid-19, about masks, about the USPS, about racism, about the upcoming election, and about politics in general. People were doubling down on conspiracy theories, supplementing them with QAnon talking points. And my energy went from open and peaceful to fear and anger.
“You need to get off of Facebook,” Dresden, my primary guide, cautioned me.
“How are people believing some of this?” I asked. “Have you seen this?”
“What I’m seeing is you not getting off of Facebook.”
“This is just wrong!” I continued. “This isn’t true at all. Science debunked this years ago.”
“Don’t go there.”
“Here, look. Someone else posted a well-written rebuttal from a verified source. I should copy this source for use in the future.”
“Sheyna,” Dresden said in a tone I hadn’t heard in a while. “Stay in your lane.”
“What? I’m not driving.”
“You’re heading in a direction that will not take you where you want to go,” Dresden said. “Remind me what you uncovered as your mission.”
I remembered a kind of psychic download that I’d just recently received. “I connect you to your true self and your own kick-ass team of guides, who are ready to help you live a powerful life of love, joy, and freedom.”
“And what did you then discern was your mission on social media?” Dresden asked.
“I share what I’ve learned and experienced — both pleasant and unpleasant — in my journey to that powerful life of love, joy, and freedom.”
“And how is this,” Dresden waved toward my phone, “helping you stay true to your mission?”
“You think you’re just browsing posts,” Dresden said, “but is it taking you anywhere close to love, joy, or freedom?”
“I need to know where people are, where they’re coming from,” I argued, knowing already it wasn’t helpful.
“How is allowing yourself to get mired in anger and fear going to help you experience love, joy, or freedom, or for that matter, helping anyone else experience that?”
“And what will?” Dresden prodded.
“The things I’m drawn to: meditation, time in nature, talking with you, laughter.”
“So, I don’t need that rebuttal? Or any other evidence that would support where I stand on these issues?”
“That isn’t your mission,” Dresden said. “Not this time.”
“I need to be very mindful of what I consume on social media,” I said. “Stay true to my mission. Stay in my lane.”