Recently, I had the misfortunate experience of feeling down right bullied. I couldn't believe it! Each time it happened I was shocked. Was I really perceiving the situation correctly?
Shock quickly turned to annoyance, and annoyance to frustration.
Unfortunately when I get really mad, I cry. I'm all about sad crying. But I wish I didn't angry cry. Angry crying just kind of seems like sad crying, but two completely different emotions are being experienced. I really didn't want to say something, because I knew I was on the verge of angry tears, so I honestly did not know how to deal with it. Luckily, I was finally able to remove myself from the situation, and kind of just look back at the whole thing with this "did that really just happen?" feeling.
I don't want you to think I'm looking for pity. And I am definitely not trying to speak ill of anyone. I just found it a little ironic that I decided I wanted to write a post about this, and then a week or two after committing to this post I have this ridiculous experience.
Crazy, right? And possibly meant to be in my opinion.
What people say about me usually doesn't bother me. I'll get annoyed or angry. And sometimes I retaliate. But, at the end of the day, whatever was said does not have an effect on how I feel about myself, or how I move forward with my life. I just don't care.
But, what recently happened reminded me of what it feels like to have my feelings hurt, and while it sucked, it was a very good reminder of how sucky it is to feel that was, AND that I have the power to make someone else feel that way too.
What originally inspired this post was something that I had witnessed on my mission.
Growing up, my little self couldn't think of anything, or anyone, more angelic than sister missionaries. They just seemed so sweet and loving. I swear they even glowed! I loved when they came over to our house for dinner, and I loved seeing them at church.
So, you can imagine my surprise/ horror/ disappointment when, on my mission, I experienced the 'behind the scenes' of sister missionaries (and missionary work in general). The horror was furthered when I realized the affects sister missionaries were having on one another. I thought it was terrible, and I really felt something needed to be done about it. When I expressed this to a leader I was told, and I quote, "It will work itself out."
It didn't, and I still don't think it does. I don't think we realize the effect we have on others, or, we underestimate how much power we really have. And, in my experience, once the cycle of 'mean' has started, it's a gift that just keeps on giving. It keeps on breaking, and it keeps on harming.
I bet Satan is pretty proud of himself.
*DISCLAIMER: I am not saying sister missionaries are bad, or that missions are bad. We are all human and we are learning. I'm also not trying in any way to say I was a perfect companion. I'm fully aware of how hard it was to live with me 24/7.
The point I'm trying to make is ARE YOU AWARE???
Your choices, actions and words towards another person (another child of God!!!) could have lasting consequences. That's serious. And I don't think we are really aware of it, or what it could mean to someone else. Especially thanks to social media.
In my recent run-in with meanness, I honestly couldn't tell you if what was happening was meant to be mean spirited. I think this person might have been under the impression that they were doing it for my own good. That was a wrong and misguided thought, but either way, I'll get over it.
I survived, and life will go on.
What happened on my mission, and what I watch on the daily happen on social media, and in real life is not ok. People don't get over it. They don't always have the option to get away. And that has lasting and harmful affects.
Just because you say "I'm joking," does not make a comment funny or nice.
Starting a sentence with "no offense," does not make it any less offensive.
Picking on someone online, even though you may feel it is consequence free, still has a lasting affect on the person receiving the mean comment. And lets be honest, the person making the mean/ rude/ cruel remark probably wouldn't have the guts to do it in person. If you wouldn't say it for real, it shouldn't be said at all.
Creating an online chat thread, or blog, solely devoted to trashing others online is NOT ok. If you're participating, you are still part of the problem. How would you feel if there was a page devoted to hating on you?
Mean looks, little comments to others, and snide words and remarks sting. They hurt. They break down, and they destroy.
Putting someone else down, does not make you a better person. Someone else's light does NOT take away from yours.
I could go on. But I think you know what I'm getting at. I know I have room for improvement, so hopefully we can all be a little more aware.
Despite what the world would have you believe, there are ALWAYS going to be consequences to your actions. Sometimes, how you make someone else feel is actually is your responsibility.
You have so much more power than you realize. We're all like little demi-gods. Not really aware of how special and important each of us really is. And totally not aware of all the power we actually have.
If we each tried to use our power for good, imagine how fantastic the world would be?! Beasts would be slain, heroes born, and myths and legends made. It's the stuff of fairy tales, but it definitely doesn't have to be if we each try to be a little more aware.