I came across this word while reading a novel a week or so ago and texted myself this note: LOOK UP UBIQUITOUS. (I do this sometimes, no, lots of times: type myself texts so that I don’t forget…because I will.) Later, I did look it up. (Voila! the value of the note!)
existing or being everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered
The thought occurred to me that this IS what we are – ubiquitous, or at least, what we are attempting.
OK, not you, just me.
This is what I’m attempting – as a woman, an entrepreneur, a writer, a mom, a friend. And more than just attempting, it seems required! Facebook. Twitter (which I finally abandoned). Instagram. Pinterest. Medium. LinkedIn. And the evidence of my ubiquitousness? After typing out each word in the previous sentence, I then spent the time to find hyperlinks for each so that you can see that I’m everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered : ubiquitous. Blech.
The next thought that occurred to me was the idea of God as omnipresent. This is a theological term that you, even without theological training, can probably parse out for yourself. But here, I’m happy to help:
widely or constantly encountered; common or widespread
Sound familiar? Like anything else you’ve recently heard? Here’s a big surprise: a synonym for omnipresent is…wait for it…ubiquitous.
So, let me reverse engineer things: we then, in our efforts to be ubiquitous, are attempting to be like God.
OK, not “we,” just me.
As a woman who is an entrepreneur who is trying to run a business and build a platform and write and be a mom and be a friend and simultaneously be everywhere at the same.
It’s no wonder I’m sometimes, lots of times, weary. (Maybe you, too?)
It seems a bit problematic, don’t you think?
I don’t need (at least here and now) to have a conversation about God – as omnipresent or not, ubiquitous or not, even existing, or not! I’m merely stating that an attribute we once wholly and nearly-unanimously applied to THE Deity, is now what we all aspire to be.
Even as I type words which might sound provocative, they really aren’t. This is what all of humanity has been doing from the beginning of time – creating gods in our own image. How could we not, really? This IS human nature. And if I wax even a bit more philosophical, there IS no God other than the one we’ve created – in our own image. How could there be? We’re the ones who have described and made sense of (so we often think) every form/version of the Divine that has ever existed! (I’m not saying…yet again…that God doesn’t exist. I’m just naming that WE are the ones who have created, constructed, described, and written/preached/demanded any and every comprehension of any god that has ever existed or ever will. There’s no Plan B on this one.)
OK. Enough of my random thoughts and texts-to-self and dictionary definitions and theological/philosophical musings. Here’s my point:
I don’t want to be ubiquitous, or omnipresent, or like God; I don’t want to be God at all!
Though I said otherwise, maybe I am having a conversation about God. For all my ambivalence, ever-shifting opinions, and intentionally unlearned doctrine-of-a-lifetime, here’s what I can tell you: any God I would believe in or espouse would be everything I’m not; a God who is not in my image – at all; a God who is ubiquitous so that I don’t have to be!
So what’s a girl to do? (Yes, just me; not you.)
One “answer” is to believe and *just* have faith that this God does exist. Because if I did, if I would, if I could, then I would no longer have to work so hard and be everywhere at the same time, right? It wouldn’t be my job, but God’s. Right.
And…this is where the idea of faith gets a bit dicey, yes? What if God (no matter how understood or comprehended, or not) doesn’t have everything in hand? What if God doesn’t care about my business, my platform, my bank account the same way that I do? I can’t actually trust, can’t actually let go, because what if…God forbid…things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to? I must stay in control. I must navigate and engineer my every reality. And yes, I must be everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered : ubiquitous, because who knows what might happen if I stopped?!?
That’s a good question. What might really-truly-actually happen if I stopped?
I’d rest. I’d stop worrying. I’d stop feeling like there’s always more to do, that I haven’t done enough, that if only I work harder, then… I’d be able to sit still. I’d not need my phone umbilically connected to me at all times. I’d trust that all will be well and all will be well and all manner of things will be well. And then I’d breathe. A lot. I’d step away from my computer. I’d need no Tylenol for the pain across my upper back and shoulders. I’d enjoy where I am and who I am and who I am with and all that I love.
I looked up one more thing in the midst of all of this pondering: the antonyms to ubiquitous and omnipresent. Want to know what they are?
In other words, fully human, fully unique, fully present, fully me.
I don’t say any of this to declare my abstinence from social media or any and all of the activities in which I’m engaged to keep my business (and life) going. Nor do I assume anyone else should do the same. But I am going to think about why I ever thought that I could be (or want to be) everywhere at the same time: constantly encountered, ubiquitous. I am going to wonder a bit more about why I ever thought that I could be God (without actually realizing that this was what I was doing). And I am going to think much more about what it means to be rare, scare, and limited – because I am. Which, now that I say it, sounds WAY better than ubiquitous anyway!