Most of us walking the path-less-traveled are free-thinkers. We second guess everything and choose to research what others in our culture may state as truth. From birth to education to foods to parenting - we practice a mindset of trusting where our hearts lead us instead of listening to the opinion of others.
Demanding informed consent and making educated decisions are the basis of many of our identities. Yet, this seems to stop short when it comes to listening to opinions and judgments about others. I admit, I'm guilty of it myself. It's easy to get sucked into online drama and adopt judgments and feelings that someone may have of someone else, even if you never met them yourself. Especially if the opinion is from someone you admire and trust. It can be hard to walk your own path and establish your own ideas and opinions about a person when it is clouded by someones agenda and anger and negativity. We can instantly adopt someones opinions in part because you don't want the person you admire to judge you for being connected to a person they do not like.
These feelings and desires to be accepted runs deep. It starts when we are children and so many people still hold on to fears of rejection because of our own school experiences of wanting to fit in and be accepted by others. Also, following the herd of judgement is easy and it is unfortunately a cultural default. It is how hate and war begins and continues.
I wanted to bring this topic to light because there are so many potentially wonderful friendships that could enrich our lives if we could only step out of the automatic acceptance of what others say to be truth about someone else.
Online friendships and connections can be confusing. If we belong to communities that as a whole, have strong feelings toward someone we can easily be swayed without ever having met the person ourselves! What is this modeling to our children? If you are truly a free-thinker you will stop doing this and understand that more than likely the opinion someone else has about another is not necessarily one you would form.
In the last month, I have met a few people in person that others had "warned" me about, or talked negatively about. I decided to enter these new relationship with an open mind and clean slate. Isn't this what you would want someone to do when meeting you? Much to my surprise I really connected with and ended up loving the people that others did not! My truth was so very different than what others experienced.
Walking this path of personal growth I climbed up another rung in the ladder of enlightenment realizing how easily swayed I could be. I learned to never take the opinions of others (even those that I admire) as truth. I think being a free-thinker needs to constantly be extended to more and more areas of our lives. We research pregnancy, birth, parenting and education. It's time to research human beings and learn for ourselves who someone Is by meeting them in person or through our own effort to really get to know them online. Everyone deserves that basic human dignity and respect. If we can read what others are saying about someone with a critical mind and know that the opinions do not have to be yours, you can step into a higher level of love for fellow human beings who have feelings, fears and goodness within them.
Just. Like. You.
Free-think your friendships people! You are evolving and growing all the time. Be true to yourself and not a sheep in the herd of hate and negativity based on the opinions of others. Friend those you are drawn to without fear, or brainwashing by anothers reality and feelings. Once you do this, your heart will open to a new level of joy! You just may end up connecting with someone who will enrich your life in ways you could have never imagined!
"Do not think your Truth can be found by anyone else." Andre Gide