If you follow me on social media, you might know I've had some questions lately about my participation. My recent post came from a presence perspective. After I dropped my phone in the toilet, I noticed how different I felt. How much more present and how much less anxious.
But there's something else. It's also our humanity and how I want to participate in that.
Krista Tippett, the brains and soul behind On Being (still my favourite podcast), once brilliantly said "The Internet is just a canvas on which we play out our humanity".
In the blogosphere and on social media we play out our hurt, our anger, our ignorance, our hope, our dreams and our joy. We put it all out there and we can't take it back. Or we can, but it might be too late.
I know I can scroll by and ignore human beings tearing each other down – and if it's inane sniping of the “I just need to be right” variety, I do.
But as a person who cares deeply about the welfare of the world, I also don't want to turn a blind eye to the real hurt and anger I see playing out around real world issues.
I know there's lots of us that feel this way.
On Twitter and Instagram particularly, I see people I'd expect to be working together tearing each other down. (As I'm a woman, I see mostly women doing this.) I see hurt, anger, spite, not good enough, I am better than you, You're not doing it right, Either you're with me in exactly the way I want you to be or you're against me.
Mostly I see pain.
I will do my absolute best to hold space for it. And I want to be careful in how I participate because I don't want to promote pain. And when we create separation, that's exactly what we do.
A Course in Miracles says “when we attack error in another, we hurt ourselves”. If we view humanity as a hologram, one that we are each an equal part of, when we attack another human being, we are also attacking a part of ourselves. That really resonates for me.
Although I'm really still working through how this looks for me, what I do know is that I don't want to be the attacker, or the one being attacked.
Our culture encourages being right. We have political systems based on being right, religions based on being right and educational systems based on being right. And it's not working.
We cannot and should not ignore racism, injustice, poverty, the environment or any of the other huge issues that face our world today. We can't be super precious about any of it.
I just wonder if we could try to talk about them in a way that’s designed to solve rather than to separate. If we could try to see religious differences from a belief that we all want the same things. If we could view our personal differences as a difference in perception rather than a complete personality conflict.
I know how hard this is. I know it sounds pie in the sky. I know it's messy and I mess up plenty. But what a different world we would live in if we considered a new status quo.
I don't have all the answers or maybe any of them – these issues are thorny, fraught with unresolved emotion and charged.
For now, the right answer is to keep looking within, to keep working on my stuff, my triggers, my hang-ups and my unhelpful perceptions about myself and the world. As I do that, I also reach out where I feel called to. I mess up. I make mistakes. And I keep going.
Like we all do.
So with that lovely people, keep going. Keep showing up.
And keep moving toward love and the healthy pursuit of happiness,