By Alecia Rice –
Q. Facebook is driving me crazy! I want to stay connected, yet I get triggered by my newsfeed. At times I want to un-friend family and friends. I really don’t want to quit so I’m looking for ways to stay balanced. — Socially Triggered
A. Dear Socially Triggered,
The path of consciousness often expands us outside of our inherited family cultures, religions, and politics yet many we care about remain grounded in these systems. Social media and family gatherings can feel prickly when the resonance between the two is difficult to bridge, especially when interacting with those who stand rigidly cemented in their viewpoints.
When it’s our trigger, they aren’t responsible for it. While it may seem that “those people” are misinformed, have distorted beliefs, vote wrong, or are just plain mean, we can’t alter any of that. The only control we have is how we choose to view and respond to these situations; therefore all paths lead back to us.
Our newsfeeds feel so personal because the distance between the trigger and us is the thickness of a screen. It takes maturity of consciousness to step back to put distance between the offensive issue and ourselves. This provides the perfect environment for us to work our spiritual practice.
Don’t fall into the trap of “otherizing” people and separating yourself away from them because their belief system challenges yours. Humans are much too complex to be reduced down, explained away, and put into a small box with one narrow label. If they’re somehow mistaken in their perspective, as conscious beings, we’re tasked to love and hold space for their highest good instead of making them wrong.
When something pops up in your newsfeed that triggers a heavy feeling response, sit with it and ask yourself questions about it. Be accountable. Ask yourself what triggered you and why? Trace that strand down your personal rabbit hole to help shift your reaction to the others’ perspective that set you off balance. As you approach with curiosity instead of judgment, you’ll ultimately uncover fear at its base. Address that fear.
If managing your energy isn’t effective quickly enough, consider using Facebook filters which will minimize your exposure to these triggers until you’re able to make more progress. From a self-care perspective, on rare occasions, it’s acceptable, and sometimes encouraged, to un-friend or block obstinate people.
Seek out online groups where you’ll feel validated and supported by like-minded people. Be sure not to create bubbles around yourself that never challenge your perspective as that’s a surefire way of ushering in imbalance.
Triggers spurn us to practice personal alchemy so we aren’t provoked. Our goal is to transform the lead of our personal dross into gold that sustains us and makes us solid, peaceful, compassionate and connected beings regardless of the circumstances. Personal mastery is learning to manage the monkey mind and our energy about things external to us that disrupt our inner peace.
People are not their politics, race, mistakes, socioeconomic levels or sexuality. Humans are comprised of facets of these things, but cannot – and should not – be defined by merely one. Our spirituality beckons us to view each other through a higher dimensional lens as complex living breathing souls who are all trying our best with what we know at the time. Generally, when we know better, we do better.
Q. I hosted my spiritual mentor in my home for a week. During that time, I saw imbalances in him, which changed the way I perceive him. I’m not sure how to process this. — Disillusioned
A. Dear Disillusioned,
Unconsciously placing our teachers on pedestals because they know things that we aren’t aware of yet can be a setup for spiritual codependence and gives away our power. Consider it a blessing to have seen the clay feet of your mentor. It is a gift to you; it enables you to keep him human helping to insure balanced interaction while taking pressure off of him to be more.
Wine poured from an imperfect vessel is still wine. Our teachers are human, and it’s important to separate the message from the messenger. It’s crucial that we maintain a sense of discernment when receiving counsel by holding a “take what resonates and leave the rest” perspective. It’s important that we keep in mind that no one is perfect or right 100% of the time. It’s up to us to stand in what we know while feeling around for the pieces that we are searching for to find wisdom even in the most imperfect of vessels.
Alecia Rice integrates higher concepts with wisdom to bring forth balance, perspective and clarity. She’s a personal advisor, speaker and gatherer of women. For perspective on personal issues, you’re invited to text questions and comments to 681-321-1109. Discussions continue at Ask Alecia on Facebook.