Sunday, March 14, 2010

Check Yo'self.

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!


ethiopifinn said...

You know I love this post.

To me, you live your life outloud, in good faith, grateful and confident in your day, with the knowledge that God gave you your brain. And free will. What a gift!
It may hurt a bit to be deleted from someone's consciousness, but it is part of her own process that she is being selective in her environment. You are very responsible and respectful in sharing your opinions (in what i have read here and on fb), which to me is a wonderful gift. While I am not passionate politically, I do have opinions, and enjoy reading yours. I really liked what Julie commented about your recent political post-- you, little liberal, vote and voice your position acording to your heart and conscience, as do the conservativies.

It is a good reminder that, at times, is *is* good to be quiet. I have, perhaps, from time to time, been a little too vocal. Mostly I claim good intentions, but it is good to check myself, if my motive is more being right, than in the right.

Thanks for this honest piece of you. Wishing peace for you :)

MindiJo said...

Wowzers! I missed a lot of your posts. Lots of reading to do. Loved your kids posts. You are entering a new phase with your boys, enjoy it. And Matt in Kindergarten? It's scary. I remember that. Doesn't get easier with each kid, either.

Politics? Don't have the time to go there and back myself up right now.

I will see this: it can be hard to get used to your "old" friends when you reconnect with them. Especially since we all change. You have changed a lot and perhaps this person found it hard to accept for some reason. I, for one, still love ya! But I did notice a huge change in you when we reconnected. Thankfully we can always pick up where we left off. Even as different people. Not everyone can.
Missed you during my lifes transition!

Leanne said...

I think you hit the nail on the head, Mindi! We had this ten or fifteen year period where a lot of us were in NO contact. At all. And when we came out of the tunnel, we *had* changed. My knee-jerk reaction was to say I feel like the same person I always was, but in a lot of ways, that's simply not true. I just spent every day with me while my life was changing, so I didn't notice it.

Jen - I loved this: "it is part of her own process that she is being selective in her environment." Good for her, actually! I still wish her tons of love and happiness in her life, even if I'm not a part of that.

Huh. Revelation: making it all about me. It's not and I shall be happy for her.

SEE?! This is why I need this blog!

Leanne said...

Oh, and Madame Mindilot: I missed you too.

PS The Limbaugh/Beck blog post was in response, at least partially, to a Rachel Maddow link I posted on FB. You'd have loved it. :P)

Julie said...

It is *much* harder sometimes to stand up for the things that matter to us than simply being silent, especially when we know we are opening ourselves to criticism from those who don't agree.

The downside is that it makes you vulnerable because those values can be questioned or bashed by others. Ouch.

The upside is knowing that you won't compromise your stances for fear of vulnerablility and you don't have to regret not standing up for what you believe in.

I always know where you stand and that is comforting and inspiring to me. As I've talked about before, I've struggled using my voice in the past (and have regrets) and I so admire people who are secure enough to always be themselves.

Maybe you lost one friend in this virtual space, but you have gained the respect and admiration of SO many. Your love for humankind is always apparent and I know it's the base of your views. I, for one, have enjoyed your discussions and getting to know you better.

Great post.

Andy said...

Ha. It's funny. I've run into a few people lately who, through conversation, I've determined have hidden me. (One is my cousin, Evan, even.) You know, I really don't care if someone hides or deletes me because of worldview differences...but when I'm hidden or unfriended because people don't want to read what they might equate to day-long frip-frappery or drivel, I get a little peeved.

Because THAT is the day-long me. One of every six or seven posts might be borderline political...the other five or six are random interesting "things." Those are what I'm made of. To quote a good friend's blog title, "bits and pieces."

So, every choice has its consequence. That means that someone might feel guilty when I compliment her kids' recent haircuts from her news feed while I look at her funny because she said, "Oh, you moved to St. Paul?"

She could've rented a skywriter and scrawled "I've hidden you on Facebook!" across the sky and the message might not have been clearer than asking that question.

But, some people are not as interested in the details of life as I am. Some find them just plain trivial.

Details make my world go 'round. Checking myself, I'm perfectly happy with that as well as reading what I'd rather have hidden.

Leanne said...

What you'd rather have written. Heh.

Thanks for your comment, as always. :)

elizabeth said...

I agree with Jenny. You live your life out loud, and I admire that. I don't always share my opinions - sometimes I worry about what others will think of them, sometimes I don't have the energy for the discussion that will follow, sometimes it makes me sad that other people don't care about the things I care about .. - but I admire those that do. I do, however, share my worldview in a much less obvious way. ;)

It is good to check whether you want to be right. Sometimes I do. I usually know when those times are - and that's when it's better to not even enter a discussion.