I will go first.
I will admit that I have felt this way *so* many times online.
I have had that feeling. I share something raw and real on my personal page and immediately feel a little bit anxious. I find myself wondering how they (usually meaning ‘friends’) might react?
This can quickly lead to self-doubt and then before you know it you are sitting there questioning the validity of your own personal feelings.
This is not a post about leading a life dictated by our indicators, aka, our feelings.
It’s not an anthem written to my fellow empaths, or a declaration of independence aimed at empowering people to shove their opinions down the throats of other people.
This is simply about being comfortable around the people who are in our lives.
Comfortable enough to share how we are feeling, without fear of judgement constricting us to an isolated, confined, restricted, lonely area.
While I do my best to be respectful of everyone in my real-life & day-to-day interactions, I am not hyper-focused on whether or not I offend people.
I don’t worry about if I am accepted or not, or if everyone likes and approves of me.
I don’t second-guess sharing things with my friends when we visit or meet for lunch or talk on the phone.
And believe it or not, I am a nice person who also doesn’t take that jumping through hoops of fire crap to gain approval from anyone in my ‘real’, everyday life.
I have spent a decent amount of sober adulthood learning why personal boundaries are not only valuable, healthy, and necessary but are also required if we are to learn to be comfortable in our own skin.
I have redefined what I consider non-negotiable qualities for people who are in my inner circle, and agreeing to agreeing with me on everything isn’t even one of them.
Basically, let me be me, you do you. I trust you, you trust me. Fist bumps all around.
So why is Facebook any different?
I had to take a step back and think about why I felt so different on my personal page.
Why have I actually compromised my own comfort and why would I allow myself to refuse to commit to sharing my own feelings or my own thoughts?
Mostly because I wasn’t sure how my text would translate after I over thought it for way too long, or how it will be read, or if it would be over-read, or mistaken for a request for approval, or misinterpreted, or translated wrong in Portuguese slang..or from someone summiting Everest.. or..
And way too often I will open Facebook to see strong, beautiful, courageous, people starting a post with an outright apology for feeling a certain way.
To me that means that *before* they decided to publicly share their own personal thought, they had already anticipated being attacked or judged and that negatively affected their comfort level when sharing her feelings with her ‘friends’.
To share what is on your heart without worrying about what people will think is in fact, ballsy.
It is scary. Very.
But it is also very important.
Our friends need to see that we are all carriers of very human, imperfect qualities that make us unique people, and I think we all simply want to know that we aren’t alone.
So remember, your feelings are valid and your feelings do matter.
No more whispering “What if they won’t understand this” to yourself before you click the share button on a post.
I challenge you to just be you- without an apology attached, and I promise to keep working on it too.
If these people are our friends, they can also handle what we have to say, and get this:
If we have solid and supportive friends who are even remotely kind humans, they will probably show us some love or support even if they don’t understand or agree with what we have to say, right?
And if they can’t or don’t, I vote that you take a stroll through your ‘friends’ list
and CLEAN HOUSE BABY.
Clean that -ish right up.
Don’t let the door hit ya on the way off of the good ole’ friends list.
Keep people around you who encourage you to do just that, to be – you.
I still have to be nudged from time to time to come out of my funk so that I fully embrace all of myself.
Even the parts that make me feel vulnerable.
Life’s too short.
There’s no time to hide.