Meditating on delete keyPublished 12:00am Wednesday, August 1, 2012
When will I learn? I thought I’d learned. Thought I was beyond some of that self-defeating need to be right at the expense of my happiness.
One email showed I haven’t learned this lesson. Funny, often I resisted the temptation to respond to emails that made me bow up like an angry cat. I’d hit delete when I recognized a subject line I knew was in opposition to what I “believed” to be right.
So, why this time did I not delete, but instead chose to read and then to respond? No, I listened to the voice that told me I was being loving and open in my response. It said I wasn’t really trying to convince someone I was right and she was wrong, and I almost bought it. I almost fell for the lie right up to my last comment. That’s when the walls came crashing in and I knew I’d slipped into a no-win Internet drama.
Now the content of the message is not as important as my reaction, but I’ll share what got me going. It was someone asking me to support the Chick Fil-A stand on the “Biblical” view of marriage. Now I don’t want to get into the gay rights issue here because, well, I’d be doing what I did when I replied to the message in the first place.
So, I didn’t feel moved to support nor forward said message. That should have been the end, but I responded with, “no can do,” tacking how I didn’t agree but preferred to stay out of these issues. Well ha, that ship sailed when I hit the first letter on the keyboard.
So I could tell myself I wasn’t really being oppositional, I added something about trying to focus on seeing the divine in all people. Boy that sounded good, so I sent it.
And, we were off and running.
I got back another sentence that was kind of an apology and a dig at the same time. Once again, did I let it go, hit delete, go get a piece of chocolate, enjoy the beauty of a summer day? Nope. I came back with how I support wholeness and not ego, how we all have our different paths etc.
Again, it sounded good — hit send. Now I’d managed to push buttons that took us off into another area — religion. I got a response. I answered with more about oneness and even admitted I should have been silent after the first email. (If I’d meant that, I wouldn’t have been typing at that moment.)
Next message questioned my values, so I sent a long-winded answer, sweetly of course, about how learning to love is life’s purpose. Did I stop to consider if I was being loving sending these messages when I knew we were not really communicating? No, I kept typing.
A few more messages and it degenerated into me telling this person not to pray for me (which she said she’d do) and saying, not so sweetly, that I was done.
And that was the end. Well, not exactly the end because in the wake of this I felt awful and wondered if I was ever going to learn anything.
Now that I’ve had a few days to reflect, I’m feeling better. No, my actions were not what I wished them to be, but they were better than my past actions. Once, there would have been no references to wholeness, oneness or love, only angry words expressing why I was right and the other person was wrong. And no me reflecting on the experience later, just my self-righteous anger.
So maybe I’ve grown some because I’m not beating myself up too much over my backsliding. In fact, I’m glad that I recognized I backslid and realized how easily drama can slip in, even through the Internet.
Oh and, I am meditating on the location of the delete key on the computer and how to use it.