I am very grateful for Grief sites on line that offer support to many who have little to none, myself being one of them. Admittedly, I have been hurt by some because of misunderstandings or just plain paltriness. Some sites are more welcoming than others; some have so many rules that I simply cannot keep on top of them all and seem almost destined to violate at least one. Thankfully, I have now found a few that have been very helpful to me on my journey as I continue to work through this ‘grieving process’.
I’ve only been on ‘social media’ for sixteen months. I began because I was desperate for support as I was facing three anniversaries in a row: My son’s, my sister’s 1st, and my Mom’s. Something I began to notice early on is that miscommunications do arise from time to time. In a world in which we are attempting to share a pain so deep with such limited space, it’s inevitable that things will be construed incorrectly from time to time. There are no visible facial expressions, and intonation is difficult to convey in typed words. There are also times when someone may be responding to a specific individual, but because of a column of comments it’s easy for a person to think that they are being addressed when a comment is directed toward another. Combine those possibilities in a situation where emotion is running high and many of us are in a ‘Grief Fog’, there are communication breakdowns. Folks can get hurt in these situations and the last thing any of us needs is additional grief.
If someone tells me that I have hurt them by a comment, I need to take the time to clarify. I know it is never my intent to cause another grieving Momma any additional pain, so I immediately know that there has been a breakdown in communication. Perhaps, I was in a bad spot when I made a comment and emotions were conveyed that had absolutely nothing to do with the person I addressed. Perhaps, they were in a bad spot and they reacted to something I said which was not at all related to what I was saying. I know there are times when I am overloaded with things and my comments are too brief causing them to be received as curt. There are a number of possibilities and variables.
The point is that I need whenever possible, ‘if’ possible, to set the record straight. I have to stop whatever else I’m doing and address the matter so it doesn’t fester and snowball out of control into something ugly. It does take energy to do this, and energy can be difficult to come by on a harsh grief day. Sometimes, it’s best to simply contact the person privately, explain briefly that I’m having a bad day but that I did not intend to cause them pain, and ask if we could talk about it all in a day or two. Most folks are willing to accept that alternative. It may turn out that there are simply completely different belief systems or personality conflicts that cannot be bridged, but at least folks can agree to disagree and go their own ways.
I believe we all have been called to the ‘ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18) and that we are to pursue peace with all, if possible (Romans 12:18). There’s probably a bit of my old Hippie blood still running through my veins, as well. I say this because when I was out fussing in my garden today, the old chant: ‘Give peace a chance’ (John Lennon) popped into my head…LOL! It is a good thing to pursue peace (PS. 34:14). Sadly, it’s not always attainable in this fallen world, yet it’s still worth pursuing. It’s simply too easy in this tech world to ‘unfriend’, ‘block’ and kick folks off a site causing additional wounding. Doing so denies the possibility for growth, for often through conflict we learn and grow. As unpleasant as some situations may feel, they are still opportunities.
Matthew 5: (NKJV)
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
(((HUGS))) Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: Xulon Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and DeeperShopping. Additional international retailers: http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biography/gifts-from-the-ashes,jude-gibbs-9781498496728 http://www.upliftvstore.com/product.asp?sku=9781498496728 Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/
Also, see a more complete list at: http://www.directtextbook.com/isbn/9781498496728?geis=y Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))