The Mistake I Made When I Left Social Media
I have a confession to make.
I took a break from social media for many reasons (many that were healthy and needed), but I also took a break from social media for one huge reason that maybe wasn't so healthy or helpful or mindful at all.
I took a break from social media because it was uncomfortable for me.
Let me explain what I mean by that. The biggest reason I left Facebook was because I was scared. I was afraid of speaking up for the things I believe in and being disliked for it, or causing a "ruckus". Plus, I was fed up with all the “toxic energy”. And yes, there most definitely are toxic stories and comments from people, some from people I absolutely adore - and therefore was saddened by.
But the truth that I know now, and only after taking a break (oh the irony – see, it's all in the best timing anyway), is that it was my choice to see those stories and comments as toxic or negative instead of seeing them through the lens of love. Because through the lens of love, I could see those posts and comments for what they really were... people sharing their fear. And it was my choice to give those people's comments power instead of letting them keep their opinions without taking them on as my own baggage. I had to relearn a lesson I'm certain I will be relearning the rest of my life: what other people think or say about me, really isn't about me.
You see, this is the path of awareness. We are always learning about ourselves and growing. I just hadn't grown in this area yet, so I ran and hid from Facebook for a year. And truthfully, that was the right path for me at that time. I know this because I came to this very understanding I'm writing about, through that experience.
I hid purposely in a year of so much turmoil, because my empathetic heart just couldn't take it anymore. I did it at a time when people were viciously attacking each other and unbelievably divided about big issues like health care & whose lives matter & LGBTQ rights & religion & environmental issues & vaccination & the election, because confrontation feels icky to me and it is super duper uncomfortable for me to be on the alternative side of an issue and have people I love posting fear based articles about things that I feel deep in my soul to be true.
But you know what, I've decided fear and shame aren't in the driver seat anymore. And I don't need to defend my choices or make other people see them as valid either. It's ok if they don't understand, because we are all on different journeys. I've finally realized it's not my job to get anyone to agree with me. Actually, if you are being true to yourself and your life experiences, chances are you won't agree with me. At least not completely or on every single thing. And that's ok.
What IS important is staying in the uncomfortable long enough to get curious and ask each other questions so we can try and find some understanding.
Because here's the kicker - we can understand where someone is coming from without sharing their viewpoint.
It's truth, ya'll.
We all have different experiences that shape who we become. One isn't better than the other, they are just different. And when we lean into the discomfort, then and only then, do we get a chance to grow & CONNECT.
But honestly, all of that isn't even the BIG mistake I made.
There is something even more pressing and world altering I learned. I realized the biggest fatality of all is when we allow being uncomfortable to silence us. Especially as light workers and those spreading love and empathy, when we allow being uncomfortable to silence our message, we affect the energy of the world and humanity as a whole.
I'm still (f-bomb) uncomfortable, probably more so now. The difference is, I'm not going to let it stop me from sharing my wisdom and viewpoint. And I'm most definitely not going to let it stop me from being an activist for equality, love & understanding. Because ya'll, it's too important, it really is. No one else is going to do it for us.
So if you are uneasy with the state of the world or our country or the inequality you see happening on your street, I hope you'll join me in feeling uncomfortable about it. But I hope you don't allow the uncomfortable to stop you from standing strong for peace & equality. Or from using your voice for love. Or from sharing your stories. Don't let the uncomfortable keep you locked in shame like I did.
You are more powerful and splendid than that and this world needs your light! We can do hard things and we can feel the discomfort and still move forward with awareness.
I hope you'll join me.