I have been wrestling with myself the past couple weeks. Like, a lot. And I appreciate this exercise, because I know I'm going to learn something, but man, it's so painful! Nothing worse than looking at the insides of your own character flaw.
Here's the thing: do I have to share every thought, every concern with the entire world? Are my thoughts and viewpoints so important that it's worth hurting someone's feelings?
I lost a facebook friend. Sometime between January 2009 and March 2010. She's not someone I have a lot of contact with now, so I didn't notice when she deleted me. But we used to be good friends. She is hilarious and kind and I loved her then. And I'm 99.5% sure I know why she deleted me; she doesn't see the world the same way I see it (ie she's conservative; I'm liberal). And you know what? That was the right thing to do...delete me. If I don't make you happy, or add something to your life, there is no purpose being my friend. Absolutely. But it still stung, because I know that I offended her.
I'm not delusional. I'd be willing to bet that a large percentage of my Facebook friends have me hidden in their newsfeed. And I have no problem with that...I have a few hidden as well. We wouldn't sit around in real life and listen to the opinions of others who are opposite of ours, and there's no reason to do it virtually, either. C'est la vie.
On a discussion on another friend's wall this week, I told someone to "check themselves." And it made me think that this might be a good time to check *myself.* So I spent a few days really exploring it. Talking to a couple people that I really trust, and spending time praying about it. My prayer always consists of, "Let me do Your work." I want to make sure that I'm only spending time on things that really matter, things that matter to humanity. I want to make sure that my ego doesn't get in the way. So that when I lose a friend (it'll happen again!), I'll know that it didn't happen because I stopped respecting other opinions or that my pride got in the way.
I sent a text to a mutual friend once I realized she had deleted me. I said to her that "maybe I should keep my bloody mouth shut once in awhile". She said, "Well either stop talking about things you find important and just agree with everyone all the time or keep putting urself out there, yes youll get knocked around but at least ur you!" Thank you, sweet friend. I really needed that.
It's complicated, exposing ourselves. For what reason do I find the need to share everything? I hope the answer is: because it helps more people than it hurts. And when it doesn't, I pray that I have the grace to shut my bloody mouth.
Have a great week!