Facebook…we either love it or we hate it. And some days, we love it and hate it at the same time.
Many of us spend copious hours browsing, liking, commenting, posting, sharing, watching videos and browsing some more. A modern addiction that can be a challenge to live without. Yet, there are also a number of us who are adamant non-users, the anti Facebookers who have jumped ship…often seeking refuge in another social networking boat.
So why the devotion and hostility? Facebook gives us that warm and comforting feeling that we get from belonging to a community. A welcoming place with familiar faces. But Facebook can evoke a smorgasbord of negative emotions as well. While it can make us feel connected and positive, Facebook can also trigger us to feel a wide array of low-vibe emotions, such as insecurity, jealousy, resentment, disappointment and loneliness.
For the most part, we appreciate seeing our friends on Facebook enjoying the beauty of life: family, travel and career success. It’s awesome to be able to connect with friends and family around the world, many of whom we might not have the opportunity to see in person. But on those days when we don’t feel particularly stoked about our lives (or ourselves), Facebook can feel torturous.
For women who struggle to conceive, photos of newborn babies and their proud parents could feel like a dagger in the heart. For those who are grieving the loss of loved ones, photos of happy families could sink them into a deep pool of sorrow. For individuals who struggle to pay the bills each month, seeing people on postcard-perfect vacations could trigger searing resentment and frustration. And for those of us whose egos relentlessly remind us that we are inadequate and unsuccessful in life, photos of friends enjoying outstanding careers and movie-worthy lives could collapse our self confidence; the feeling of failure attacking and devouring us like a ferocious tiger.
Many of us are also acutely aware of how our Facebook community perceives and receives us. If our post garners only a handful of “likes” while our friends’ posts receive tidal waves of support, it can send us into a downward spiral of feeling insignificant and unlikable. We can end up playing an unhealthy game of linking our worthiness to the number of Facebook “likes” we receive.
So what do we do? Do we abandon Facebook like a cheating, no-good lover or a two-faced friend? Do we blame the social networking hub for putting us into a crappy mood? This is what our ego wants to convince us to do. I want to offer a different perspective.
Rather than being the bad guy, Facebook might actually be a gem that helps us heal…as long as we pause to shine light on the emotions that it triggers within us.
By allowing our triggers to guide us, we expose and shine light on the dark, hidden parts within us. Instead of denying or looking away, courageously feel into your buried emotions. FEEL your guilt, disappointment, sorrow, jealousy, loneliness and resentment. By doing so, we are able to honour these feelings and let them go.
When we let these emotions rise up and out, we free ourselves to experience a life full of peace and joy. A life in which Facebook no longer triggers us…or triggers us a lot less frequently.
How do we get there? Below are three steps to spur healing and happiness:
The first step to healing is awareness. Get to know what triggers you. Notice when someone or something triggers you to feel frustrated, annoyed, sad, lonely, angry, insecure and so forth. Triggers are blessings. They are gifts that are meant for our healing.
Create time in your schedule to sit in quiet with your eyes closed. If we create space to sit in silence, our triggers can lead us to our stored memories and buried emotions. Say a prayer, asking Infinite Spirit to: “show me what I am meant to see or know to heal”. Or try this prayer: “Dear Divine, please show me the real reason for my anger, sadness, insecurity (insert emotion)”. With these words, we are asking to see, feel and heal the root cause of our pain.
Be open and patient. Avoid searching. Allow an image or an awareness to present itself. A memory of an event from childhood or youth might pop up. If nothing happens, that is ok too. Communicating with Spirit may take practice.
We are often tempted to blame the people in our lives who trigger us. But by blaming others (or blaming Facebook) we remain focused on the external world and hiding from what is happening in our internal world. The next time Facebook gets under your skin, take a moment in quiet to look within yourself. Emotions are energy that are meant to move. Instead of denying the feelings that are stored within you, feel them, honour them and let them go.
With this practice and fresh perspective, we might just shift our relationship status with Facebook from “complicated” to trusted partner for healing.
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