starting the year off by living my uu principles

happy new year!  some of you reading this have been following my blog for quite a while IMG_3894now, and i am so flattered that you have stuck with me over all this time!

i, of course, began this year with a new resolve in regard to my blog.  i want it to be more than it has been.  there are so many options. i could focus on parenting kids on the spectrum, crafts, cooking, books, illustration….i can’t decide.  i am just going to plunge in head first, and maybe a direction will find me.  or not.

IMG_3855since the year began, a few things have thrown me off my game.  i had to have a hysterectomy right after christmas, which went great.  it was so much less painful than i was expecting.  unfortunately i got a double ear infection right afterwards, and that has been excruciating.  i started some intensive antibiotics last night, so fingers crossed i am on the mend soon.

** warning, i am about to get really long-winded here and blather on quite a bit about something that really shook me up. **

the other thing that happened, occurred in the virtual world of social media.  a lot of people probably can’t imagine becoming emotionally involved with a group of people they have never met, might never meet.  but i am sure some of you reading this probably know that it happens.

the wahm (work at home mom) community is especially virulent on social media sites, with crafters able to make connections with potential buyers.  since you don’t need a background check to get in, the web has its share of con artists and  thieves.  the incidents of these scandals are depressingly prevalent, but still doesn’t seem to completely justify the drama that ensues in some of these virtual groups and bulletin boards.

my regular readers have probably guessed that i am not a super confrontational person.  i don’t like drama in my real life, and i try to avoid it in my virtual life as well.  as a southern lady, it goes against years of training to be rude, even in cyberspace.  this is not true for many people i encounter.

when someone i know online becomes the center of one of these dramas, i try not to rush to judgement.  innocent until proven guilty right?  but unfortunately some of the accusations have been true, and a few times i have had to deal with the discovery that an online friend was not worthy of the trust i had bestowed in them.

when i joined the uu church ten years ago, one of the principles i pledged to uphold was that all people have inherent worth and dignity.  it wasn’t hard for me to take this to heart, because i feel like it is my nature to find the good in people.

the tricky thing about this principle is that it doesn’t just apply to good people, it applies to all people.  it can be hard to avoid pushing this  principle aside when dealing with people who do terrible things, and it is a work in progress for me.

i also believe, that if the world tells you are bad, a failure, not worthy of care or respect, that you will probably start believing that is true.  but if one person, or even a few, cling to the hope that something inside you is good, that you are worthy of care and respect, despite the mistakes you made, well then you might just cling to that and make some changes in your life for the better. IMG_3881

so, it happened that at an online friend had some troubles with her business.  i am not sure exactly what happened, nor do i condone some of the things that it seems went on, but a lot of people were very angry, and their ire was infectious within some of the wahm circles.
i really felt  like i needed to offer her support on a personal level.  i know she knows that i don’t approve of the mess that she made in her business, but to abandon her to a mob of angry customers isn’t an option for me.  even if she is guilty of all she has been accused of, as a human being, she deserves for someone to stand by her and offer support and kindness.

some other online associates do not agree with this philosophy of mine, and when they saw me stand up for my friend, turned their anger on me.  the first few attacks i brushed off, what do i care if a few people i don’t even know talk a little trash about me?  but when women i thought were my actual friends started to jump on the bandwagon, i was really hurt.  after shedding many, many tears, i felt like i had a cinematic moment of revelation.  i don’t care.

i live in a small town where i am a very square peg.  i spend more time than i like keeping a lid on my true self (and political leanings), so that i don’t accidentally jeopardize my husband’s job. my only real social life is online (which stinks) and i am just not willing to pretend to be something i am not with people who should be my friends.

you know what? i am proud of myself for continuing to live my principles in the face of attacks, (virtual) public shaming, and disavowal from people i trusted.  did it completely liberate me from social media, thus freeing up my time for much more important things?  sadly, no. but it did liberate me from a few online groups where i didn’t really belong.

if you are still with me here at the end, i promise tomorrow’s post will be shorter and less…rambly.  maybe a nice recipe?  love to all!

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About phrogmom

kind of eccentric artsy type raising two boys in texas.
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3 Responses to starting the year off by living my uu principles

  1. hakea says:

    You stick by your principles. I’m not sure what “uu” is, but what you describe is based on love and kindness, and that’s a good thing. I’ve heard that things can get nasty in the cyber world. All behaviour happens for a reason and arises from some kind of need or fear. I head towards the positive and joyful, life’s too short.

    Well, look at that grown-up boy in the last photo!

    Sorry to hear of your health problems, hopefully this will set you on the path to wellness this year.

    I’m back at Hakea this year. I’m going to try to do one post per week and am so excited about it for some reason.

    Good to see that you’re back!

    • phrogmom says:

      oh sorry, uu stands for unitarian univeralist.

      i have been enjoying your return and the pictures!!

      • hakea says:

        What a fine name – unitarian universalist. I haven’t heard of them before. I looked them up and they are in Australia and New Zealand. There is an impressive list of people who followed UU – Emerson, Thoreau, Darwin, lots of creatives, questioners, and free thinkers. Good one!

        Yes, I’ve done some spring cleaning on it. There will never be portrait photos of my kids as I have worked in child protection and my husband in psychiatric units and we have had death threats on occasions. Best not to involve the kids. But I am looking forward to reflecting on the week’s events.

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