“We see people and things not as they are, but as we are. That is why when two people look at something or someone, you get two different reactions.” – Anthony De Mello, Awareness
I’ve been off of Facebook for 23 days, promising myself I wouldn’t go back on until after the election in the United States. For the most part I haven’t missed anything but birthday wishes for friends. Instead I text or call them with wishes. Seems old school to actually speak to someone on their birthday, but I like living on the edge a bit.
So the Facebook fast has gone well, but I did cheat a couple of times and log on to see what I was missing. Two or three minutes of quick scanning to see if people are healthy and doing well. No likes or comments, in and out quickly. But then I read a post a friend made. He was wondering where all the coverage of the Hunter Biden story was and why everyone was burying “the truth”. That was almost the breaking point for me, I wanted to break my fast and reply educating him on what matters in this country and what may be merely crap that they’re slinging to see if it sticks. I took a breath, logged off and cleared the history of my browsing just to ensure I would have to physically log in again to get back on Facebook.
I get a similar reaction when I see someone I know with a Trump sign on their car or in their yard. My perception of that person changes, even if they remain the same otherwise. And I realize that the issue isn’t them at all, but my reaction that matters. I wonder sometimes at the world, but recognize that I can’t change the world at all, only myself and the impact I have through my own actions.
So I’ve begun using the phrase “you do you” in my head when I see or read something that annoys me. You do you, and I’ll do me. And maybe we’ll meet in the middle on a few things. Or maybe not. But offloading the stress of what other people think is liberating. My vote cancels out his vote, and I’ll rely on other cooler heads to prevail.
Focusing on changing others by nature means we aren’t focused on changing ourselves. We have plenty of blank canvas left to paint in our own lives, and a few mistakes we’ve all made along the way that could use some painting over as well. The more we focus on our own path the further down that path we may go. There’s plenty to work on right here.