I had a not uncommon experience this evening. Someone said something really nice to me, wrote a really nice affectionate note, and I got completely flustered. Luckily, it was online so I was able to pull my wits about me and actually write a note in response rather than turtling away and hiding for the rest of the day.
At first, I tried to figure out why she had said this nice thing to me. "I didn't do anything particularly nice or special today, did I? That was really nice of her. But I didn't do anything to deserve that." I couldn't decide if I should respond even though I wanted to because I thought it was so sweet and nice to have someone say something so nice to me. But I worried that she would think I was weird or just saying something because I felt I should respond and not because I meant it even though I really did. It was crazy inside my head for awhile.
What I think really has me still thinking about this is that I realized that if someone had said something mean to me, I wouldn't have hesitated to respond if only to tell them that I thought their behavior was inappropriate. As a society, I think we find it much easier to criticize and be negative. Is that cultural? Is it human?
The good news is that I think there's a new counterculture building out there. People who say nice things to each other, share positive emotions and thoughts about each other, boost each other up. And they aren't weak because of this. I know a lot of people practicing these behaviors, and I have no doubt that they can and would stand up for themselves if that was needed. But what makes them really fierce and strong and amazing is that they break past feeling shy or awkward or any of those things to step out into the world and offer their love and positivity and spread it around. I hope I can keep moving forward on my path and be that fierce and brave in spreading the love. I know it's a goal worth working on, that's for sure.
So what's my point? My point is--let's all go out and tell our friends, online and off, that we love them, that we think they're awesome, that we like the things we* do, that we're on their side. Break out of the awkwardness so many of us feel when we want to reach out and let someone know we like and appreciate them. Take a deep breath and say all those good things you're thinking about your friends and the people you know. In the words of Bill and Ted (oh, I had to, I did), "Be excellent to each other."
*Edit: should say "things they do"