Let's face it, nowadays social media is a scary place. People are so comfortable behind their keyboards that they say things they'd NEVER utter in public and certainly not to someone's face. If you've got anyone on your friend's list who doesn't have EXACTLY the same beliefs as you, you're going to run into things that raise your blood pressure now and then. This is where a little bit of GRACE comes into play. Wayne Dyer, my spriritual guru, talks about people who are constantly looking for occasions to be offended. I believe, in our instant gratification/social media driven society, this describes most of us (yes, even me!). We look at things and decide based on OUR perceptions what is offensive, assume that we know all facts and the other person's intention, and then proceed to argue for our point of view. One of the personal growth principles that has helped me tremendously in my journey is the realization that my way is not always the "right" way of doing things/believing/acting,etc.
Here's an assignment. I guarantee, at least once today, you'll see an opinion on social media that you disagree with. Maybe it's a funtamental belief or maybe it's just an opinion on a TV show. Your assignment for today is to observe that need inside of you to comment, and then SCROLL PAST. Notice how that feels. Depending on the severity of the offense, you may literally feel the anger rising within you. THAT is your ego. That's the part of you that says "I'm right, you're wrong, and I'm here with a powerpoint presentation to tell you why." We humans have this little guy inside of all of us, and he can bring a buttload of stress if we don't keep him in check. We were all raised differently, with different experiences, beliefs, and emotions, and we ALL think our way is right. But if you can start to open yourself up to the idea of allowing another person to live inside of their beliefs without your opinion or interference, I promise you'll start to feel more peace almost instantly. If you simply cannot pass it by without interjecting your opinion, that's a sure sign that you are being led by your ego, and you're going to keep a lot of that stress involved with keeping that ego satisfied. As one of my dear friends says, "Your ego is not your amigo."
Allowing your ego to subside and accepting all people for their different opinions is a profound virtue and will absolutely lead to more peace in your social media existence, but when it comes to the people you associate with, you DO also have the right to decide whether the person's comment or belief is a deal breaker for you. For example, for myself, someone who uses hate speech is not someone I'd continue to associate with and would "de-friend" quite easily. However, if someone is (and I'm gonna get heavy here for a sec) pro-life, where I am pro-choice, that's an issue that I can step back and say This is their belief, and as long as they don't force their opinions on myself or others, it is not a friendship deal-breaker. You can choose which peeps/views are too extreme to keep around and quietly (without bowing to your ego's need to make a big production) remove them from your friend's list, but I urge you to use a little grace and again remember that we all come to our beliefs through our personal experiences in life. Cutting out everyone who has differing beliefs will likely leave you bored and quite lonely.
It's so important nowadays when people are so quick to argue to use some self introspection. Check in with yourself. Ask yourself WHY you're being triggered in such a way, or why you feel compelled to argue. Search your soul for what you TRULY believe in and maybe turn that passion into something positive and tangible, like joining your local government or volunteering for the cause that means so much to you. Ultimately you choose. You can be argumentative or you can choose peace.
Hi! I'm Andrea Cummings. I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle that I can MAINTAIN and that still lets me feel like I'm not being deprived. I like to exercise, but I also love to eat (nachos!). My main focus is to be healthy, not skinny, and to help others do the same! I love Jesus, but I also say fuck a lot, so if you're offended, I may not be the gal for you.