You Can’t Unfriend Everyone

Have you ever had a day where the overload of people at the Holidays is too much?  Too many people at the store, on the roads, at functions and events. This month has a lot more relational activities for many than the rest of the year. Extra effort is put into connecting with people who haven’t been a regular part of our lives. And this is a lot when these are the people who are cared about—but what about the people that just drive us nuts? 

In a time where we get to pick and choose our “friends” online, the reality is it just can’t be done in the real world. There is always the coworker, family member or just that person on the street that, if one is honest, we just don’t want to deal with at all. Add to that how, through media, a world of people has been put into our lives every day. There can be days where one might start looking for the “unfriend” button. To disconnect from harmful people is empowering and important yet the reality is we never know when that person may pop up. If avoidance is the only tool then it will fail at some point.

A life of selective people is not a free life. It is dictated by the those around and when someone is bothersome or loathsome they hold all the power because they can affect. The ability to realize that the world is full of people we may not want to deal with and learning how to move in that area in love and empowerment is truly a life of freedom. As human beings we love to avoid pain and the uncomfortable. As contemplatives the invitation is to move into all areas of life; the joy and pain. Because of self-preservation and the uncomfortable feeling of being in pain, staying present in uncomfortable situations is a learned skill. It is a spiritual practice.

If this is something you would like to learn, Deep Listening to Story of Life and the Art of Deep Listening are both excellent trainings. Finding ways to take care of oneself (which are all the offerings at Pathways of Grace) when confronted with uncomfortable people along with learning how to stand in it, will keep us from becoming an isolated society reaching for unfriend button.

May you all find the blessing, no matter who you are surrounded by.

-Amanda Petersen

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