Some things just hurt, like earaches and cavities and breakups. We can do everything to avoid the pain, take vitamins and wash our hands, brush religiously and see the dentist regularly, get educated on how to maintain positive relationships. But still, sometimes, we just can’t avoid that pain. Viruses attack, germs bust through our defenses. Our best efforts to stay together aren’t enough. Unavoidable pain.

Other hurts are self-inflicted, as sure as if we slice our own body with a razor. Eating ice cream if lactose intolerant, listening to Rush Limbaugh as an intelligent human being, following blogs or Facebook posts that upset us, these are like running our own nails down the chalkboard and then complaining when we shudder. As advocates of gun rights are quick to remind liberals like me, we have choices. The oft cited “guns don’t kill people, people do” can certainly be applied by hurt feelings over a Facebook rant or twitter bash. Social media doesn’t hurt people, readers do. I do understand the difference for children, I don’t advocate cyberbullying any more than I would want a gun in a child’s hands. Yet as adults, we can choose our own exposure to ideas and philosophies we like and those we don’t. We can agree or disagree. We can choose to follow, dislike, share, retweet, reblog, or  whatever it is on Instagram. If the last election cycle taught us anything, it is certainly that  free speech reigns as does the choice to listen. These are avoidable hurts.

When our president-elect has been proven to feel facts are unnecessary to tell his story, when he tells lies that are shown over and over to be just that, when he incites violence and causes damage, this is defamation yet he is free to speak because he has targeted a public person. He has unwittingly furthered the cause of bloggers everywhere, allowing us all to speak freely about him and others who cross our paths in life. Of course he often takes offense, he doesn’t like it when that very privilege is used to tell truths or opinions about him. Just like the rest of us, though, he doesn’t have to listen. When we share our opinions, our feelings, our stories, if it hurts his feelings, I strongly suggest he unfollow. Surely he has more important things to do. The same advice goes for those who disagree with blogs or Facebook rants. JUST DON’T READ.

I write about my pain, my story, my struggles. I share my side of any story, my opinions. These resonate with many others who find themselves in the same situations. Others can’t relate, that’s okay. Not for everyone. Others take offense. That’s also okay. Not for everyone. As a writer I understand the power of words, I know they can heal or they can hurt. My intention is never to cause pain. I also try to never run from the truth. So please if you find comfort or inspiration here, stay. If you find these words hurtful, maybe this isn’t the blog for you. I hope you find one more to your liking. But if you are sharing my words to intentionally hurt others, I would ask you to consider why. Brokenness doesn’t need more splintering, it needs those who will help with restoration. So again, I invite you into this space, in the light where we find enough grace for even those with whom we disagree.

May you find hope in healing, may you rejoice in redemption and may you share with intentions to spread the light and not more pain.