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Posts Tagged ‘hell’

A Letter to a Friend:

On several occasions you have questioned whether Facebook friends are really listening or whether you are being heard at all. You seemed to be wondering out loud whether Facebook is some sort of alternate reality.

You are not alone in wondering about the power or purpose of Facebook. Since joining Facebook in 2009, I have watched myself evolve in how I connect with the world in large part due to my interactions on this form of social media. We seem to be asking similar questions and perhaps coming to different assumptions.

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On a personal level, I have grown to love it!!! At nearly anytime Рday or night, I am surrounded by people that jazz my soul, inspire me to be a better person, nurture me when I am down, and/or support me when I need a kick in the tuchus (tush). And sometimes there is little or no real interaction; sometimes friends are just on the ride of life with me. The more direct I am, the more substantial  the help can be. Help has come in the form of information, resources, and/or supportive listening. My response to these interactions have helped me navigate into more healthy connections and out of friendships or connections that no longer serve me.
Facebook is not some sort of alternate reality. It is full of life (gifts and challenges), experiences, politics, information (true and false). People share what they are comfortable with sharing; this is no different than life in any other social realm. People share what they want you to hear and some are more authentic than others. This seems to be the reality whether on the phone with friends, at work, in synagogue or any house of prayer, at the park, or even the local grocery store.
When tough times hit, people can’t always help and don’t know what to say. The same can be said for all interactions.
Finding personal support for me seems to come mostly when I share what is going on and what I am doing about it. When I have been down for too long (which I have), the responses stop showing up with frequency. It doesn’t necessarily feel good, but each of us only have so much time in our lives to deal with our own crap let alone every one else’s crap. Sigh.
Politically, I have had to face that my strong opinions make people uncomfortable. And if someone is a really close friend, we learn to refrain from commenting on political posts or we accept the explosions that follow a ‘confrontation’. AND I have been known to end friendships or lose friendships when passions run deep. I love knowing where I stand with people even when it means that saying good-bye feels like the only option. I don’t have time to hang with people whose values I find troublesome.

I use Facebook to share all of the moving parts of how I walk in the world. I share poetry, sayings, politics, pain, joy, gratitude, and sometimes hell.

For me, Facebook has opened many doors to opportunities for learning, stretching, and connecting. While I love this tool, it is also one tool of many that I use in my life.

With love and light,
Chava

PS – Some examples of how Facebook has added to my life:

  1. Politically now, I have more information at my fingertips.
  2. Advice is always available for the asking!! And sometimes when not asked. ūüôā
  3. When I needed a job, opportunities surfaced.
  4. After I lost my job, friends from all parts of my life showed up to help; I am not sure how I would have survived if people didn’t come out of the woodwork.
  5. If I am sad or lonely, depressed or scared, there is always someone who shows up to comfort me.
  6. While many people have profoundly different views from me, there is always someone there to give me a different way of seeing things.
  7. Whenever I post a link to my blog, it gets read. ūüôā
  8. Whether I need a place to eat in Houston, a place to stay in Washington DC or a good book to read – Ask and I will end up with a ton of answers.
  9. I have found the best sayings just by lurking on Facebook. Did you know probably have over 70 pages of quotes that I have saved?
  10. AND so much more!!!!!!!

 

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Note: I will be Counting the Omer for a total of 49 days, from Passover to Shavuot or from Slavery to Freedom.  For many, this is simply the Counting the Omer; for me, it is a time to actively reflect on different middot (character traits) that will lead me to my own rebirth.

Humor brought us to this day - Aryeh's graduation from Fairhaven School.

Humor brought us to this day – Aryeh’s graduation from Fairhaven School.

Middah (character trait) focus: Humor

A few hours or maybe a day after Aryeh had been¬†intubated, he stood up for the first time in what felt like forever. ¬†I was so relieved to have my baby (he was 14 years old) alive even if we weren’t yet sure how he would emerge from his brain surgery. ¬†As he stood tentatively for the first time following surgery and the days¬†that followed, I found myself amazed so I said, “I am looking up to you.” He gave me a quizative look, so I continued, “not because of everything you gone through, but because you are now taller than me. ¬†You grew while you were intubated.”

To be honest, there was almost nothing positive about the years that Aryeh struggled for his life. ¬†Each and every day was a living hell, yet we found moments to laugh and moments of light. ¬†I believe that the only reason we were able to emerge from our years of profound darkness was because we laughed. ¬†We laughed at the stupid things that we saw. ¬†We found joy in simple moments with friends. ¬†We had to giggle when having the same meal four nights in a row because there were weeks when no one could figure out what to cook for us¬†and all of our dietary needs. ¬†You should have heard some of the ludicrous things people would say as they tried to process all that was going on with us; they really did want to say the ‘right’ thing. ¬†We laughed because we needed a moment to decompress from all of the travesties that were continuing¬†to emerge. ¬†Finding humor in the most ridiculous moments kept us sane; laughter kept us alive.

Life can be hard, really hard.  May we be blessed to find humor as we navigate all that life has to offer.

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