First, let’s be clear, that Voice in our heads–the one that causes us to be irritable, angry, afraid, and sad–is not us. It sounds like our voice, but it is not us.
I’m incredibly guilty of trying to do everything on my own, of trying to be perfect and find the perfect life. As a result I constantly catch myself creating things I’m afraid to lose.
The life we’re trying to build–the one we’re someday destined to lose–can feel threatened by words and failures. When it’s threatened, the Voice comes to taunt us and aggravate us.
That Voice doesn’t want us to let go. It wants us to build a better life for ourselves, by ourselves, without any help from others, and to hold on to what we’ve created. It’s the Resistance. Maybe, it’s the devil.
I wish I could turn off the Voice, but I can’t.
I do know, though, that by accepting that it is always there and expecting it to show up when I put my guard down and put myself out there, I go through life in a much more peaceful way.
Now as for Facebook . . .
When we put ourselves out, even in an impersonal digital form, we take a chance that someone might disagree with us.
This is almost always the case when we share something religious or political. Rarely, though, do we get negative comments about something personal, real, and close to our hearts.
When we share something (even slightly) opinionated and controversial and someone disagrees, the following internal dialogue starts to play like a broken record:
What did they mean by that? Are they saying that I’m a . . . ?
Then the Voice starts to accuse them:
What do they know? They’re just one of those . . . and they don’t know what they are talking about. They don’t see things the right way.
Then you start to defend yourself:
I’m perfectly justified with the post and with the comments. I’m definitely right. I mean, look . . . [insert pointless justifications that no one will ever hear]
Then later, among friends, you talk about what so-and-so posted on Facebook and express your confusion.
Why would anyone post such a thing in response? Who are they anyway?
[Or maybe, just maybe, I’m alone in all this? Maybe I’m the only crazy person in the world who feels this way about Facebook posts and comments?]
The post isn’t the point, really. It’s not about the post. It’s not the end of the world when someone disagrees with you on the Internet and to be perfectly honest, we misinterpret and inflate comments way beyond what people actually meant to say.
What is really going on?
All of us, in an attempt to control our lives, put up emotional and spiritual walls to comfort and defend ourselves from being vulnerable and rejected.
The fear comes when those walls are threatened. The Voice and subsequent dialogue within ourselves is just chatter bouncing off our self-indulgent walls of ego and back to us.
All of our walls will shatter.
It doesn’t matter what people think. Really. Most of the time they are comparing our broken walls of defense with their broken walls. Neither one of us has it all put together.
A Firm Foundation
When we let down our walls and stop being defensive, our True Selves shine through. It takes love and it takes faith. Faith in God because only his foundation is eternal, lasting, and unbroken.
The best way that I’ve found to live an unbound life is to stand upon the firm foundation of faith and let God build roads to travel rather than walls to hide.
When I don’t do this, I build a bunch of broken walls that for some strange reason I can’t bring myself to lose.