It Takes A Great Deal of Courage to Stand Up to Our Friends
“It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends.” - J.K. Rowling-
This quote came up in my desktop calendar, and got me pondering... in the world that we live in today, how many of us are hiding a piece of ourselves from our friends or family as a way of protection? How many of us live in fear of sharing an opinion or belief?
We see keyboard warriors intensely debating topics on social media, calling their friends, family, and strangers out for believing differently than them. We see so much hate and disagreement shared through memes and comments on social media posts. We see division where once there was friendship, and breaking of ties with people that were once considered loved ones. And so much of this division comes from a tendency to jump to a conclusion: “If you believe XX, then delete me now, we can never be friends,” “If you don’t support XYZ then you are a horrible person and don’t care about such-and-such people,” “If you voted for so-and-so, you obviously believe A, B, and C, so remove yourself from my life.”
None of this encourages open conversation.
None of this indicates a willingness to hear another point of view.
None of this creates a safe space for all, even though that is what so many are trying to promote in one way or another through these posts and comments.
None of this leads to unity.
Bringing this back to the quote, “It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends...”
I feel like many times these divisive comments and posts severely blur the line between whether someone is a friend or an enemy.
We may really care for someone and love the experiences we have had with them over the course of our friendship, considering them a friend... but when this hate and division begins, the struggle becomes more about being the bigger person, not engaging and adding fuel to the fire, seeing the hatred and intolerance grow in someone we cared for, and struggling to hold on to the memories of joy and positivity that are becoming blurred behind the intense negativity. Instead of seeing these people as friends, we begin to wonder if they are our enemies because we don’t believe in the intolerance that they spew, or the lack of willingness to have a conversation with someone who disagrees with them. They start to take on the qualities of an enemy.
And that blurred line between friend and enemy creates the biggest struggle in us, of continuing to love that person as a friend, but guard ourselves and not be influenced by them as we would protect ourselves from an enemy.
This exact internal conflict is what has had me in a debate with myself over the last several months of where I want to show up and connect with others. At first, the idea of staying off of Facebook entirely was extremely appealing, throwing myself entirely into blogging and only showing up in my groups and on my business pages... ultimately, I’ve chosen to focus on intentionality rather than elimination, and I have to say that it has been very healthy!
The unfollow button is my friend.
I get to decide what energy I let into my space (and so do you!).
Unfollowing someone doesn’t mean that you have any animosity toward them, it just means that you are setting and honoring the boundaries that are right for you.
I love showing up on social media, sharing my goals, my adventures, and things that I feel are valuable and can help others through different situations... and so, rather than bowing out and giving that up because other people’s energy may be too toxic or undesirable, I get to be intentional with whose pages I go to, who shows up in my newsfeed, and how much time I spend scrolling. I get to catalog my adventures, stay connected with family near and far, watch loved ones adventure and grow, and still honor my energy.
While I will still be showing up on social media, you can expect to see a shift in what and how I share... through this journey, I’ve also realized how much I love this blog space, the ability to connect different pieces of my life, link to different thoughts in a variety of places, and be creative in the look and feel that I portray with my writing. So, in the days ahead, the number of social media posts may be less than in the past, and you can get deeper insight and more vivid details in the writings on my blog!
To find me on social, check out my LINKTREE.
Can’t wait to share more about life, dance, goal setting, adventure, joy, health, and more in this blog space!