Banned.

I banned someone from this page last night, and I'm having mixed feelings about it. It's something I'd been thinking about doing for a while, and when I read a comment she left on a post yesterday, I knew it was time to say goodbye.

She's commented here very regularly, and I started to notice several months ago that her comments began to feel more and more self-righteous and judgmental...of me, specifically. Though the language was veiled in love, I kept feeling nothing but condemnation. Virtually every comment she posted rubbed me the wrong way, as though she were trying to knock me down, and to prove me wrong. I kept wondering why she even liked my page and spent so much time here if she took issue with so much of what I have to say.

But I hate banning people. I haven't done it often, and it's usually a very clear choice. Those who threaten me or anyone else, or only have hateful things to offer the community get banned. Life's challenging enough without inviting nasty attitudes into your circle.

This woman is different, however. She offered more than nastiness, especially when she'd respond to comments that others left on my page. In those moments, I felt her kindness more clearly, even if it was delivered with a certain "I know the truth" kind of attitude.

I try not to do things from a reactive place. And when I'm getting provoked by someone or something, over and over again, there's always a good lesson to be learned. We usually can find a good chunk of ourselves in those who irritate us the most.

In this woman's actions, I see my own need to be heard, and to be right. I feel how much our life experiences have contributed to our views on the world, and on love. Her criticisms of me play into my criticisms of myself, her judge riles up my inner judge. That's not her fault. That's on me. I've looked at that. I've tried to approach her comments with as much openness as I can (I don't always succeed) and even within the judgment I feel from her, I've tried to hear the message beyond the delivery.

And last night I asked myself...why are you trying so hard?

Maybe because I've dismissed people from my life in ways I'm not proud of, and I've been dismissed by people in ways that still sting. I don't want to do that anymore, not without really considering the truth behind what I'm feeling.

And the truth is, I really don't feel good about this woman's energy on my page. Seeing her comments consistently pulls me out of the joy I feel in the connections here. And I think that's reason enough.

Even if everything she's ever written is absolutely clear and true, and I've distorted her words because of my own ignorance and fear, I still think it's the right choice to part ways. For whatever reason, I'm not ready to hear what she has to say, and for whatever reason, I really dislike how she says it. And that's reason enough.

I don't think this woman is a bad woman or a mean person. I don't know a thing about her, other than the opinions she chooses to share here. Something about me doesn't jive with her, and something about her doesn't jive with me. And that's okay. We can't all be each other's best friends. We can wish each other well, send each other love, and create distance if that's what's necessary.

I'm creating distance.

To be clear...I don't expect or need everyone to agree with everything (or anything) I write and say. Not at all, not even close. We're a lot of people here, with our own experiences and our own opinions about things. I've learned a lot on this page from others who've shared thoughts contradictory to mine. Or more evolved than mine. That's the beauty of community.

But there's a way to communicate with kindness, and with respect. I do expect that, here. Of all of us. And to own it as best we can when we communicate otherwise.

Okay, I've rambled on enough about this. I just feel kind of bad about the whole thing. Clear (mostly), but bad.

I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend. 
Thanks for being here, and BIG LOVE.