I'm Spiritual, Dammit

Don't take it personally!!

So I recently put in my facebook status, "If I have so many friends, why have only 127 people read my blog in the last few days?"  I was kind of amazed at the message I received from one of them, accusing me of being a "one-sided" friend.

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I had only met this person a few times- and we connected on facebook.  She came to my one woman show, and I really enjoyed her company.  But her opinion of me quickly soured when I didn't respond to her facebook status about her sick father.  She said it had been in her updates for months, and that she was not going to support my blog because I didn't support her in her time of need.  I only reached out to her when I wanted her to come see my shows "and bring lots of friends", she wrote.  

Now as of this morning, I have 2852 "friends" on facebook.  I only really KNOW about 80 of them.  I use facebook for marketing and for getting the word out about my talks.  Not even my immediate family gets a wall comment from me unless their status literally pops up when I happen to be checking messages.  I update my status from my blackberry on occasion, but I can't receive messages that way or respond to other people's posts because I don't have a clue how to do it remotely.

Here's one thing that those who really know me- know about me......If you are going through a hardship, and I get word of it- I would never choose to ignore it.  I'd send you prayers, on top of a note wishing you well.  If I were free for lunch, I'd probably kidnap you for a sandwich.  Avoiding someone in need- not exactly my style.  Even if I've only met you three times.

Another person sent me a note that they were furious that I hadn't responded to their child's birthday party invite.

"I never saw it!" I said.

"I sent it to you on facebook over a month ago!" She wrote.

I just check my event notifications, and I have 81 that I've never checked.  81....

This is where The Four Agreements comes in handy.  This book of Toltec wisdom by don Miguel Ruiz talks of four specific "life rules" that will help bring you peace and spiritual awareness.  One of them is DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY.  Someone else's actions have nothing to do with you.  To think that it does is not only selfish but narcissistic.  If you aren't gossiping about someone or being cruel to them- then their actions probably aren't related to you in any way.  Maybe they aren't reaching out to you because they are going through a divorce?  Maybe they are about to lose their house?   

And maybe they never bother to check on status updates or event notices on facebook?

So if there are any other friends of mine out there resentful and disappointed that I haven't responded to a major life event...do me a favor and send me a good old fashioned E-MAIL.  My email is jen@staytunedwithjen.com.  If it doesn't get trapped in the spam folder, I promise to respond.  It may not be right away- but it will get done.  Even snail mail works- P.O. Box 7017, Evanston, Illinois, 60204.  Facebook might be the way some people do all their communicating, but that is SO not the case with me.  

And to everyone else who is spending time feeling pissed at someone for not being there for you- take a deep breath, send them some compassionate thoughts, and don't take it personally.  Maybe they too are going through a rough patch, and when the time is right- they will come around.  There is nothing worse than a friend who is keeping score.  A true friend sends unconditional support when they can.  Not when you want them to.

And then go buy The Four Agreements immediately- dammit!  

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5 Comments

Martie said:

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Oh Jen, your timing is perfect. I'm going to send this to a professional colleague who took personally what was intended to be some good-natured ribbing. Apparently I hit too close to home with an offhanded comment. Her feelings were hurt, and I'll apologize as it wasn't my intent to wound her. Although, as I think more about it, she's often wounded by an offhanded comment, even if it's not directed at her. Hmmm. Thanks, my friend, for a timely post.

Jen Weigel said:

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Hey Martie-
It is SO HARD for me not to take other people's reactions personally- but like you said, you did not INTEND to hurt her. I would never INTEND to hurt someone...but if my actions (or lack of actions) cause that reaction- I have to think there is something much deeper going on for them..but still tough to think we play a part in hurt feelings. This spiritual stuff is EXHAUSTING! :)

Chicago Vince said:

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I know where you're coming from. The majority of the people I know on Facebook are people I've worked with in the past in radio, acting, & stand-up (Heck, you and I both worked together on the 38th floor of the Hancock back in the mid-late 90's), and I get invites every day for shows and events they are doing. I hate to say be that guy who always says no, but I've leadned that you get more people upset when you don't respond than get upset when you say no.

Eantonucci said:

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Jen, thanks for posting this! All of your posts always come at great timing! I can always pick up a little something out of each one that I see in myself or I see in others and it helps me through that day.

Eantonucci said:

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Jen, thanks for posting this! All of your posts always come at great timing! I can always pick up a little something out of each one that I see in myself or I see in others and it helps me through that day.

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