I have just started to un-friend people on Facebook.
I know, I know, you are all thinking that this is not very heart-centred and in a way it is not but let me tell you how I got there.
Over our lives we collect Facebook friends, some you are really close to and some are people you met briefly, others are people you knew a long time ago.
The problem with this "friend collecting" is that many of those people are not really friends, in fact their lives are at total odds with yours and yet we keep them as our virtual friends.
As I have been going through my spiritual journey, one of the things I have been finding tricky is the emotional reaction I have to many people on Facebook and their posts. To them they are probably just flippant comments, but I get this urge to tell them what I think about them.
These strong feelings are causing energy blockages in my life and are something I need to deal with and not the person who placed the comment. Because of this I have put together my own action plan on how to deal with these situations.
Feel free to act on these steps or ignore them, whichever one resonates with you.
1. Notice the Reaction
This is the first and most important step because if you are unaware you are having a reaction then you cannot change it. When you read things on Facebook tune into your body and do it mindfully.
If someone writes something that is not congruent with your life and it just does not work for you notice the tension in your body. You might be aware of the fact your heart beats a bit faster and your mind immediately jumps to a response you want to give. You are reacting.
I won't tell you the things that really get to me because then I am just reacting and moving into unconscious name calling.
2. Let The Reaction Go (If You Can)
This sounds obvious but it is something we rarely do. I have often found myself moving on to reading other posts or doing something off Facebook and then coming back to the response I would like to give.
This is not letting go of the reaction but dwelling on it and moving yourself away from present moment living.
At this stage I thought I would share a story with you that I have read many times and it is a good example of how the weight of our emotional reaction is far greater than the reality of the situation.
Two monks are walking in silent contemplation when they come to a river and see a young woman near the bank. She asks the monks for help in crossing and the older of the 2 monks picks her up, carries her to the other side and puts her down. The two monks then continue on their walk. Some time later the younger of the two monks says, "Brother, I cannot understand what you have done. We took a vow and yet you carried that woman across the river." To which the older monk responds, "Brother, I put her down some time ago, it is you who is still carrying her."
This is the same with Facebook, when someone posts something usually they type it and forget it. If you read it and then keep going over it in your head it is you that is carrying it and the person who wrote it is happily getting on with their life.
So what if you can't let it go?
3. Accept Your Reaction
So you have read your friend's comment/post and you don't like it or it irritates you in some way and despite wanting to drop the reaction it is still there what can you do?
The answer is very simple accept your reaction.
This does not mean get all caught up in the possible response but observe it and how it affects you.
Start to look at the reaction in detail without labels. Notice the physical changes, the emotional changes, the way others treat you when you are in the middle of the reaction and be ok with it.
Don't try to change it. This is vital as this will create a deep resistance in you and make more problems and blockages. Know that whatever you are feeling will eventually pass and that is fine too.
You will be surprised when you accept your reaction how quickly it passes.
4. Accept The Other Person
So this is where it becomes even more difficult but now you have accepted your reaction transfer these feelings to the other person.
Ask yourself this: "So what if they think something I don't agree with?"
Really think about it, what difference to your life, chances are it is someone you rarely talk to and they don't even figure on your radar.
So then what is it that they have offended so much? Could it be your ego? The bit of you that has to be right. Are your urges to tell them what you think of them just in fact your ego trying to prove to them and everyone on Facebook that you know better?
What if you don't respond in anyway? What if you just look at the person and see them for the wonderful energy they are and accept that their ego may have different views to yours?
Will any of these actions in anyway diminish who you are? I mean who you really are, the energy within that connects you to the universe.
I would like to hope that after going through these steps you feel at peace and have nothing but love for your Facebook friends but if this is not the case there is one other step.
5. Change the Situation
This is really the final option to you and there are a number of ways to do this. For example if the friend is someone you know quite well try talking to them, like an adult, about your differences. Remember no blame just discussion and see if you can understand where they are coming from.
The other alternative is one I have taken recently and that is to un-friend them. This really is last resort but I had one friend who I barely knew but every single one of their posts irritated me. When I found this was something that was actually affecting how I was feeling I thought the best thing to do was to move away from the person whose ego my ego was at odds with.
So if I un-friend you or someone else does, don't take it personally it just means that maybe you are going in a different direction. Each and everyone of us has our own unique path to follow and some people will enhance it and others will show you places that you still have work to do.
In some ways the people that I un-friend are the most important to me because they are shining a light on the areas where I struggle with presence and helping me to go deeper into conscious living. So I thank them dearly for the reactions they provoke and know that I am one step closer to eternal awareness.
If you know someone on Facebook that is bringing negative reactions from your ego try these steps out and let me know how they go for you.
Image courtesy of smarnad at FreeDigitalPhotos.net