Feedback from some people on Facebook — my friends — over the past month tells me that sharing challenges of the heart or more shadowy dark feelings of (sadness, grief, loss, mourning) online from time to time is a bit difficult for some.
Let me say this: I get that and let me invite you into my lens on this by sharing a bit about my experience over the past year.
I did some pretty intense work in the last year around grief and trauma. For those of you who know me well you know about my mom’s sudden death and some of the challenges I’ve faced and those our family has faced. And, of course, there’s always more to everyone’s story that we don’t know or share.
I believe that all of you have those stories too.
I see that one of the failings in our society is we don’t talk about stuff. Authentically and genuinely. And, I understand that. We are afraid of being judged or misunderstood or seen as weak. Or we are doing the best we can and the mere mention we could do better has us feel the pain in the realization of our settling. And settle we must or choose and do so with a depth of love and dignity I argue that our generation hardly knows.
But please don’t take this as anything more than an offering of my humanity.
It’s ok. You worry. I get that…to a point. But, I worry about some of you more if you do not express occasional fears and losses from time to time. Why not on Facebook? Do we need to pretend our life is perfect? Is this only a highlight reel? I don’t see it that way. For me it is a tool to connect.
But, yes — I realize that Facebook and other online platforms are also a lighthearted space or a store-front for pimping our ‘perfect’ life for the world to see all of the cool stuff we do, where we travel, who we love, what we value (at least what we say we believe)… But we also risk that people get a warped view of each other’s life.
Facebook is a mirror. By flipping our finger and whizzing past photos only we know if we feel genuine joy and excitement for others celebrating abundance (healthy) — or of we stew in a contrasted and silent envy — judgement (not so healthy). Either way this should tell us about ourselves. What do we admire and what do we fear? That’s about us. Not them.
I also realize that many people don’t talk about feelings much, much less feel them, and if they do it is either emo (annoying and too much) or on rare occasion where they pay someone to listen (hair stylist or therapist). Some have a small number of real friends they can openly confide in to say: wow, I am hurting. I don’t know how to deal with this situation… etc. Many have no one — or believe they do not.
Anyways, one of my offerings in this self-obsessed fantasy world of online images is an exploration at taking the risk of being transparent and being here to say that sometimes life sucks and punches us in the face… and it hurts. And, it’s ok to say: Fuck. That hurts.
My online community has overwhelmed my doubting side more than once in the 7 years I’ve dared to post online. You’ve confirmed in words and concrete action that there is much love in the world and while it doesn’t always come from the people we desire it from the most — it still comes — and to be able to receive that in its infinite forms is a really gift.
Anyways, I see a bright side to the ego maniac dimension of Facebook and that is an emerging technology to build a sense of compassion for others and a willingness to share and receive via our projected avatars an abundance of loving vibes and grace. Loving energy we can heal with and create a future with.