I was reminded by a blog entry I read today that whatever I am experiencing I have a choice in how it “makes” me feel. I can choose to respond with anger, guilt, sadness, confusion, curiosity, laughter, openess, forgiveness…I have many options. Ultimately they come from one of two perspectives, fear or love. When the joyful space of a creative group page I belong to was “invaded” by a well intended but inappropriate post I was angry. It involved a story I was seeing posted over and over again on my Facebook timeline by rescue groups and outraged dog lovers. I have come to cherish the simple joy of having at least one online refuge. The story did not belong on a page full of creative offerings from people with a positive focus, not one of whom would consider abusing or neglecting an animal. The poster blatantly disrespected the guidelines of the group. I was disappointed with the admins for not “protecting” the sanctity of the groups space; I thought they should have removed the post. The more I thought about it, the angrier I felt. It was a nasty spiral UNTIL a dragonfly landed on my arm while I was walking my dog.
My group friends know the meaning of dragonflies thanks to the wonderful photo essays from one of our members. It made me stop in my tracks, quite literally. I suddenly laughed as the dragonfly flew away taking with it my angry judgments. “You don’t have to feel this way” it told me. I began to realize the person who put the story on the group page was in so much pain and distress, they were crying out for help. Our admins know we are all adults perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves and it shows by the measured responses people posted. Anywhere else on social media it was generating a deluge of negativity almost worse than the original story. We do not have to go with our first response to anything. We always have the option to choose differently and begin again.
The link to the blog entries I found so affirming are:
Thank you Denise and Faith!