“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” -Plato
Lately, I’ve been thinking about ahimsa, (doing no harm) as it pertains to our words.
Those of you who follow me on twitter know I’ve developed a love-hate relationship with facebook lately. I have been an avid fan of facebook since it launched in 2004, and I love keeping up with my friends. But life has put me in a delicate place the past six months, and day after day I’ve been hurt by things I’ve seen on the ‘book.
None of the things causing me pain have been mean-spirited, and the writers almost certainly have no clue that they’re hurting me. They are simply sharing their lives, which is what social networking is all about, anyway.
The problem is not them, it’s me, and so I’ve withdrawn from facebook for a while until I can stop being so hypersensitive and emotional (does that ever happen?).
But it made me wonder…whom do I harm, indirectly, with my words? Because I put a lot of words out there every day: spoken word, email, social networking, texting, and of course this blog.
When I say seemingly innocuous things, is there someone out there wishing, just for once, that I could see it from their point of view? When I write about how much I love my dogs, is someone mourning the loss of their favorite pet? When I complain about waking up for work in the morning, is someone wishing fervently for employment? Do my words pour salt into the wound, and cause pain?
No matter what the intent behind our words, the impact can be out of our control. Even when you put love into the world…love can cause heartache.
Of course, there’s no way around this without withdrawing completely from the world and refusing to communicate, which isn’t practical for a born communicator like me. So I have no answers. But, like everything else, awareness is the first step.
What have you been hurt by, that no one dreamed could be hurtful?
PS- today after final relaxation, my teacher said this: Find something inside you that’s been struggling, and make it right. And if you can’t make it right, make it easy. And if you don’t know how to make it easy, take it one step at a time – one breath at a time. I had to wipe the tears from my eyes : )