Yesterday was one of those days on my Facebook page! The Trolls came calling!
Two of my posts, both political in nature but not accusatory in any real sense, attracted loads of attention from some truly ugly trolls as well as a host of angry supporters of Trump. They came in like fire ants, bearing ill will, hurling insults, using their little demeaning names and posting hate-filled memes at other respondents with no thought of anything but disruption. In more than one case, the troll actually said he was praying for the death of President Obama (who wasn’t even mentioned in my post) and another post consigned our gracious former Prez’s dead mother to membership in a not so well respected profession.
The comments struck me as piteously unhinged and so very typical of people who have lost their grounding in humanity, hope and/or any kind of faith. Their lack of focused meaning and their vicious rants demonstrated a level of personal and mental dysfunction that has grown more prevalent in our society. And even more sadly, it’s modeled and mirrored by our present administration and by many in our leadership base. They are the very models of that very same voided soulessness every day.
As much as it was a PITA, I felt fortunate that I was experiencing the onslaught while being here at the Carmelite Monastery in Baltimore, gratefully visiting this amazing group of women who have dedicated themselves to a life of spiritual enlightenment and selfless prayer. It clearly revealed the online antics to be the bizarre workings of ignorance and hate. Being here, with these focused friends also allowed me to center my thoughts and my energy more quickly. I often mention that I work hard to make sure that the ignorance of life and other people’s uncentered actions don’t alter my core. It can still be a struggle. But, that’s what happened! The days spent here have given my core a whole new strength. The conversations and thought provoking interactions with these incredible women have deepened my resolve to be part of the solution.
And, this coming weekend, the joy continues. I will be reconnecting my Balsam Guys group for our annual men’s retreat. This will be the 15th year that I have been privileged to gather with as fine a group of men as one could assemble, to gain some wisdom and strength. We will once again engage each other in a weekend of non-stop deep sharing of life’s joys and concerns, with lots of laughing, eating, talking through issues, singing, sleeping and more eating. (Did I mention that we eat?) We GO there…. and we make sure that every one of us gets back!
Yesterday was what it was. But having focused friends allows me to center my thoughts and restore my energy more quickly. And the trolls? They come and they go! And yesterday I helped them go quickly by blocking 8 people. These were NOT friends of mine. And,I will not be carrying their energy any further than a push on the button that sent them into the ether of cyberspace.
But I will leave here today still believing that quote from Dr. M.L. King where he said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Love is hard when you’re dealing with people you don’t even like. But today I resolve, once again, to choose to put some love energy in the world, as a balance for whatever it is the trolls are doing. Cuz hate is too great a weight to bear. I’ve still got light in music and in life and another day in which to let it shine!
We still live in the shelter of each other. We need to act like it!