Sometime last year—summer, I think—I happened to click on an email notification from Facebook, alerting me that someone had tagged me in some post. I usually just delete those without opening the emails.
Note to self…. Not sure why I’m actually getting an email from Facebook about people tagging me. I thought I’d turned off all the Facebook email notifications.
In any event, for some unknown (perhaps cosmic) reason, I opened this particular one.
Apparently, I had commented on the status of someone I know pretty well. The email didn’t tell me what I’d written, just that x had replied to my comment and what x had said in reply.
X’s reply was something along these lines, “Yeah, but that’s just the problem. I’m not like you, Sheree Martin.”
That stung. I wondered what I’d said. Did I hurt someone unintentionally?
I immediately went to the person’s timeline but never found the status. Apparently, it had been deleted. I mentally thought back to any comments I’d made on this person’s recent updates and I finally remembered the likely context.
What I’d said was intended to be inspiring and affirming, nothing more, in response to one of those semi-vague, but not opaque updates we’ve all seen—the status that indicates someone is having a less-than-stellar life moment and could use a comforting word or good vibe.
I love this person and I know that this person has many gifts. I truly care about them and had simply wanted to offer a bit of inspiration. The implication of their reply was that I have some kind of superpower status that makes me impervious to failure, poor choices, or even the life funk that happens now and again to all of us (even presidential candidates).
I’ve written and deleted more than a few status updates myself–sometimes before I hit Post and sometimes shortly thereafter. So no biggie. Even if x had left the reply up, I would have understood. We’re all dealing with stuff.
Our Edited Lives
There’s a part of me that would love to share every detail about every challenge I’ve faced and every vulnerability I have. Metaphorically speaking, I’ve climbed Mt. Everest, lived through erupting volcanoes, spent what seems like epochs wandering around the Saraha….but sharing the unedited details in a blog post on the internet for the whole world to read is just not me, at least not right now.
The reality is that we all have struggles and challenges and none of us really know what others are dealing with at any point in time.
Our struggles can lead to growth, empathy, compassion or they can yield bitterness, fear and hate.We can love and respect ourselves and others or we can let shame make us bitter.Click To Tweet
It’s grace and our willingness to accept and live with faith, hope and love that determine which fork in the path we will choose.
So I hope you’ll choose to love yourself.