In fact, unless you have the compassion, empathy, heart and mind of a saint, as the site grows I can pretty much guarantee it.
There will be those people here. Those people you try so desperately to avoid. Those people that grate on your nerves. Those people that believe in *that* stuff, you know, maybe it's the scary stuff, or maybe it's fluffy bunny stuff. Maybe it's not what they believe, but how they shove it down your throat. Or so it seems. Or maybe it's that they just seem to know it all, and they're SO wrong. You know THOSE people.
Well guess what, we're all one of those people. All of us come off the wrong way to someone sometime. Yeah, we might whine in our heads, but we know better. I'm really a NICE person, a SMART person, a RIGHT person. My intentions are all in the right place. Well guess what, we're all one of those people too.
There will be people here that will use words you don't like, and find offensive.
There will be people here that have beliefs and practices, that you find disturbing, upsetting, or maybe silly, stupid, or trivial. All of us, will have SOME negative assumptions about someone on this site.
Bottom line, we are all who we are.
If we want the freedom to be ourselves, we must extend that freedom to others.
If we want to be respected for our own choices, faiths, ideas, beliefs, we have to extend it to others.
What then to do with those individuals that rub many people the wrong way? Who are more extreme on the edge of a more out there belief, or method of expressing themselves that they disrupt a lot of people a lot of the time. I'm not sure honestly how I will deal with individuals that may really push this sites members buttons.
My first line of approach is trying to work toward an inclusive solution. Bring resolution and positive change without excluding someone. I would like to make removing someone from this site a really last resort.
There are people who thrive on conflict, and conflict is also often a positive part of people who are going through periods of growth and change. Overcoming conflicts. Learning how to resolve conflict. As well as learning how to communicate with others effectively and to co-operate with others, is one of the most meaningful things we can do actually in terms of our self growth and development.
You can use conflict with others on this site as catalysts for positive growth and change, for yourself, and for others. You can choose to try to change what you can change, not that other person, but yourself. You can choose to try to expand your empathy and compassion. You can make an effort to try harder to understand why that other person is who they are, believes what they believe, and feels how they feel, or expresses themselves how they do. All of us have baggage, history, triggers, brainwashing, etc, to overcome. All of us. We are all the walking wounded. If you want a less judgemental more compassionate world. WE have to co-create it.
We can start co-creating it here.
Defuse conflict, keep conflict to places where people who want to embrace it only can, and not impose our conflict onto others who do not want to be a part of it. Recognize trolling behaviours and people who feed on negative energy, or are addicted, literally to the adrenaline rush of the 'fight' or flight response, and just like a good fight (yup, some do, let them fight with others that like to do battle, and if your the pacifist type like me, learn to walk away). I have a tendency as a pacifist to want to repress or smooth over conflict, perhaps more than is ultimately healthy. Really, who gets to decide? and maybe what is healthy for one person isn't the same for another...
I know you're all intelligent enough to really get what I'm saying here.
Conflict will happen, be ready for it, focus not on what I can do as a site owner to fix it for you, or what the other person has to do to stop bothering you, and focus on the only change that really matters, the one you can bring with you off site and everywhere you go. Learn your own personal way of dealing with it, create strategies and plans for self for sharing spiritual space with a diverse group of people.
This place will have a lot of freedom, for many people, that may feel like a lack of 'security', that lack of security, is not coming from the site, that feeling of insecurity, is a feeling, and it comes from within you, and only you, can address it. You can avoid it, or you can understand it, and control it, rather than letting it control you.
Beautiful Leila. Thank you for the warning, because it is so true. We can get wrapped up in our own emotions, we can forget to see how it is affecting others.
I wish to share, a message that came to me.. less than 48 hours ago:
Do not fret about others that they hear, you know each path taken is of utmost importance. Sounds silly for sure if you have heard this over and over, but the reason why you all have different paths and walk them is because without them, the world can’t grow. Humanity can’t grow. To not walk one path, means that path is forgotten in this march forward as your all begin to regenerate and build something new. Each path important in its own right... and each path must be understood and respected. No one is wrong, and no one is right, all that is... is just where you are right now. That is what makes everything right.
Imagine your world and all that is upon her, finally being able to breathe true fresh air. To know you are part of a family that is much larger than what you currently believe yourselves to be. Well, in actuality, that most of you believe because so many of you that gather around understand. It is for each and every one of you to find your path, most are on it, and you must realize it is the right path. There are no wrong paths. Not even those who choose to remain and not move vibrationaly forward. Their path is the right path; you must be respectful of their decisions although, they might not be respectful of yours.
Indeed, we will find others of differing views, but we must remain respectful.
Much love and thank you!
Thank ypu for sharing. I try to remember something mom told me you can take things with a grain of salt. Especially when getting advice from others. Some may work for us and some may not. But I try to remember to at least hear them out. We all have different paths to follow and lessons to learn but it is nice to know there are others out there that do understand.
Lets just Abide
I have peeps on other forums who HATE my guts because, apparently, I don't 'act' like a Wiccan.
They are adament that it means I'm not a wiccan and that everything I do is fake, I even made a comic strip because one argument was sooo typical http://thewiccanway.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d1v48s1
it's strange that people think neo-pagans should be nothing but calm and lovely people and have absolutely no need to rant or rave, as if we're suddenly some kind of higher being. XD Some of the worst arguements I've ever seen have been between witches. It's unreal.
Anyway it's all true. End the conversation and move on swiftly whenever it's apparent the conversation has turned to an argument. I mean, debate like hell if you have to, but never go into it trying to teach people and don't keep grudges.
It's all spiritual gravy to me.
A couple of paragraphs from my forthcoming book "The Elemental Path":
On many New Age/Neo-pagan/Wiccan chat rooms, groups, and billboard systems you will find this thread: Do the directions stay constant no matter where you are? The reasoning behind this argument lies in the geography of the elements. If you’re in New York City, where the ocean is to the East, shouldn’t Water be in the East? Or, if you’re in Tierra del Fuego, directly south of you is Antarctica; so why put Fire in the South? I can see their point in that. :
The other side of this argument on the boards usually relies on one thing only: Because it’s traditional. They will say that this “religion” (when it actually should be pluralized) is about tradition and custom. And I can see their point as well. After all, am I not setting this book up with the Elements in the “traditional” order with the “traditional” directions?
But I never enter these discussions. Why? Because it misses the point completely! This simple statement may draw many letters and emails criticizing me for it. But I believe it to be true.
What they truly should be discussing are the aspects of each Element as it applies to their daily life. Many people say they are religious, but they don’t live it. Or they go to the other extreme and become evangelical or fundamentalists. Their viewpoint is the only one that matters, and they are determined to convince everyone of the rightness of that viewpoint.
Happy to challenge. :-)