I am a girl who feels all the feels.
Friends and former colleagues you know that about me. If you had dated me you would know it, if you and I are friends through the blogging community you know my passion for all the things. If you parent me, sister me, if you are my family you know that I feel deeply. And God Bless The Hubs because he certainly knows that I love deeply and that when my heart breaks, my world stops.
The past 2 weeks Facebook has been a jagged pill to swallow as have I scrolled past political arguments. I have read mean comments exchanged between friends –> people I love and admire. Though I am trying hard to stay out of the political fray, I have occasionally thrown my like or dislike toward a post and I am aware that my actions have ramifications. At least one person will see my opinion and they will feel either justified or angered by my opinion.
These recent weeks have cut me to the core and I know that I am not alone in the hurt.
Since January 20th, I have watched the majority of my newsfeed try hard to make sense of changes that, no matter how you see them, are highly charged with emotion.
We are not going to come to the same conclusion. That does not make us wrong or right, good or bad.
Over the past months I have found myself wondering if I am a Christian because of different political arguments. I have literally cried about that. More than once. All because of things I have seen on Facebook that have suggested that I am not a Christian. Even though I am a Christian.
I am sharing that with you because I have also watched some of you question one another’s Christianity on Facebook because of responses to articles or political views.
Jesus is so much bigger than politics.
Sadly echo-chambers on social media have created environments for us to see people who think differently than we do as the “bad guy” and that is just not true. The truth is that we really do have more in common with our neighbors than social media leads us to believe.
Ironically, I am finding that the very thing that taught me to unplug, to respond versus react, are the lessons I have learned from managing Crohn’s disease.
When I was 29, I spent the summer and fall of 2001 in the hospital in horrific pain. I was fed through my heart and diagnosed with a profound onset of Crohn’s disease. Overnight I was forced to give up a very happy successful life for one that was marred by confusion, loneliness and excruciating pain.
I spent the week of 9/11 hooked up to an IV on a wall in an Atlanta hospital and wondered how I would make it out should our hospital be hit by a plane because our city was a target. Everything was upside down.
My doctors and nurses told me that in order to get better I had to learn to not stress.
Learning how to not stress when life did not make sense seemed impossible. But I desperately wanted to be able to eat again, I wanted to get out of the hospital. So I finally picked up “fluffy books”, books that made me laugh. I watched movies that forced me to laugh. I forced myself to laugh when all the things around me suggested I crumble to fear.
Looking back, I taught myself to unplug long before the word “unplug” had anything to do with self care.
This is undoubtedly an important time in history. However fighting on Facebook is not necessarily leading to productive conversations. Yes there have been a few that I have seen but for the most part the social platform is not set up for sharing deeper political thoughts.
Last fall I felt overwhelmed by the political fights on Facebook and I took time off. That time off was so helpful and calming to me. I was able to find my center again. During my Facebook hiatus, I decided what the different social media platforms mean to me.
For me, Facebook is a way to keep up with friends, store pictures and memories. It is also a a way to be involved with some private groups who are a very positive influences on me.
When I look at politics (and I do) I look other places than Facebook. I don’t mix my friendships and politics.
I use Instagram for pictures and community. I use my personal Instagram for pics an keeping up with friends and I use The Feel Good Days to keep up with my wellness and lifestyle community.
I use Pinterest for recipes.
I hope that my post does not come off egocentric because that is not how I intend it.
As I said at the beginning, I am a girl who feels all the feelings and I just don’t quite know what to do with the heartbreak of the past 2 weeks.
If my post means anything to you, I encourage you to Respond not React. There is a difference. Pause, think about that.
What do the different social platforms mean to you? How do you want to use them?
Earlier this week, when my heart cracked wide open in sadness and I posted a song by Simon and Garfunkel on my Facebook page for several reasons:
- This album takes me back to my senior year of high school when I was a Student Ambassador with the U.S. Government to the (then) Soviet Union. We held important meetings in 5 Soviet Republics with the goal of finding common ground and establishing peace. That was in 1989, the year before the Soviet Union fell. Throughout that trip we listened to Simon and Garfunkel on cassette tapes, the music was “retro”, we were young. It all felt good.
- The lyrics to this song are very appropriate for this time period.
- I have a secret (not so secret) crush on Art Garfunkel – that slight smile –> wait for it 😉