Hi there. I’m back. :)
As you can imagine, it took a little time to process exactly what went down on Tuesday.
I don’t like drama or scenes, and being in the middle of one on Tuesday — or rather, causing one — I was wildly uncomfortable.
But I’m here. You’re here.
And it’s a new day.
I woke up the past two mornings feeling … vulnerable.
Vulnerability is tough to lean into. It’s much easier to lash out. If I’m being honest, I’ve been wrestling with which path I want to choose.
Because I’ve got a lot of feelings:
I feel sad — because the message of Tuesday’s post was lost to heated comments + side picking.
I feel regret — because I offended and confused people. I wish I had approached Tuesday’s post differently.
I feel embarrassed — because I have potentially damaged a dear friend’s ministry, and have opened it up to attacks + negativity.
I feel repulsed — because of the way we tend to treat each other online, when we’re safely hidden behind our screens.
Yes, I’ve been wrestling with which way I want to go.
But … a little quiet reflection tells me that lashing out at someone else is only going to end up hurting … all of us.
See, in the truest part of me, I believe we are all on the same team. Yes — all of us:
You, the person who is offended by my choices. And you, the person who is cool with me going my own way.
You, the person who wrote me an encouraging email late last night. And you, the person who is trashing my name + actions + life in online forums.
All of us. Same team.
Stick with me for a second:
There’s this idea called the WE mentality. You can find it in Benjamin Zander’s book “The Art of Possibility” and read all about it. In short, it’s a practice of naming negative behavior as the enemy — behavior like pride, greed, or revenge — and naming the people as the hope.
In doing so, it removes the barriers between us and allows a flow of compassion, no matter how badly we have behaved.
It shifts the focus from you vs. me — to us. It makes a little room for us to see the human being behind the behavior. No matter what is done, no matter what is said, there is a heart and soul there.
Living with the WE mentality takes grace. Compassion. Vulnerability. And a respect for boundaries — not by shrinking from our beliefs, but by admitting that there’s a chance we don’t have everything 100% figured out.
Especially online, where we’re held to perplexing standards like:
“Be real, but not too real.”
“Share your life online, but stop living your life through the internet.”
“Do your thing, but don’t do it like that.”
We desperately need grace and compassion from each other.
We have an opportunity here:
If we’re going to change anything on this planet — if we want to make this world a better place — we’ve got to know that it starts with how we treat each other.
WE can be the example. WE can be the ones who lead the change. WE can … but only if we choose to live with standards that go against the grain.
I’m thankful for this opportunity.
And I’m thankful for us.
Tomorrow, we celebrate winter! And yeah, you know what that means! :)