Spiritual Baby Steps

"Doing" spirituality in the real world

Archive for the tag “Relationships”

Facebook

I had a really interesting conversation with some colleagues today about the value of Facebook (aka FB). Most of my colleagues are connected to FB and some… although considerably less… have opted to tweet as well. However, there was one hold-out who was unconvinced of the value to be gained by joining the FB community. Well, obviously there’s value… right? I mean, everyone I know is on FB… my husband, my parents, my friends… even my 80+ year old Grandma! Surely there’s a reason we are all connecting, often daily, to find out what’s happening with our 300 nearest and dearest friends.

I had to think for a moment. What is up with spending precious, irrevocable minutes of my day reading posts of general acquaintances or friends of friends… people I may not even know? What are we getting from this level of engagement? Is this just another instance of too much in a world of information overload?  How am I a better person by keeping tabs on high school friends who I wouldn’t necessarily get together with even if I did have 5 spare minutes in my crazy busy life? Are we so lacking in personal connections and real relationships that we have to turn to electronic devices and social media to fill the void?

Or perhaps… just maybe… there is more to this social media trend than meets the eye. I know for myself, my family and personal friendships are of the utmost importance to me. I definitely don’t feel like FB has replaced the efforts that go into making these relationships work. I can still appreciate the value of getting together for lunch, writing a letter or picking up the phone. However, there are increasingly more instances where people who I care about are in a different state in their lives, either literally and/or figuratively, and perhaps this is a way to maintain a peripheral level of connection that would otherwise not happen.

I’m curious what the increased connectivity, global awareness and influence of technology will do as we move forward – for my generation, but even more so for my kids’. What are the implications of being “friends” with your entire class… your entire school… your entire community? What about being friends with the global community? Is there a limit to how many connections one person can maintain with any semblance of authenticity? What expectations go along with this higher level of peripheral connection and how will we manage the potentially greater responsibilities that ensue? Or maybe this is just a phenomenon of a transitional generation… perhaps the “rules” will be better known by the time my kids decide on whether or not to “friend” the world!

So, as of now, I’m staying connected. As usual, I have far more questions than answers on this life journey. If you’re a member of FB, what keeps you coming back? If not, what keeps you away? What impact do you think the growing global community will have in your lifetime… and what about the next?  I’d love to hear your thoughts…

Love and laughter to you.  ~Rashel

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To Err is Human…

Then shouldn’t we be used to it by now? Isn’t it the human way to learn by trial and error… and for some of us error… and error… and then a few more errors for good measure! Well… if error is such common occurrence, then why do we get so flustered by it? Why do we make ourselves feel so awful and beat ourselves up so much? (That’s not just me, is it?) A curious thing if, in fact, one of the main reasons we’re on this earth is to learn and grow and one of the main ways that we learn and grow is through making mistakes.

But what is the alternative? To celebrate our screw ups? What about the hurt feelings, the tears and the anger… potentially experienced by others as well as ourselves… all direct results of our poor choices? Hmmm… makes the celebrating thing seem a little out of line, huh? I’d like to push for acceptance as the alternative. And by acceptance, I do not mean hide in the corner and pretend it didn’t happen. I mean… take responsibility for the poor choice, make amends where needed, and forgive yourself for being human. If you can then learn from the experience and grow accordingly, you might even go so far as to thank the person or people who’ve helped you grow… if they’re still talking to you, that is.

Acceptance is something I’ve been playing with for quite a while. It’s a term I’ve struggled with for the very reason that I am constantly pushing myself to learn and grow as a person. Acceptance, at times, has seemed like defeat to me. Giving up and “accepting” that I can’t change whatever it is that I am accepting. In Byron Katie‘s work, she refers to acceptance as the ability to stop fighting with the reality of what is. It’s a paradigm shift that has helped me come to my current understanding of what I believe acceptance is.

Here’s where I’m at right now on the whole acceptance thing… I think that acceptance means you are acknowledging reality. I think that acceptance does not necessarily mean that you like the choices you made or that you wish you’d made them. It does mean that you choose to forgive yourself and recognize that there are lessons to be received if you allow yourself to be open and accept them.

I’m wondering how you handle your own mistakes… do you pretend they didn’t happen? do you apologize profusely? are there candy and roses given to all involved? Where do you fall on the whole acceptance thing? And most importantly… how do you make yourself feel better when the inevitable occurs?

Love and laughter to you!  ~Rashel

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