Showing Up - on Facebook
“The act of showing up…” on Facebook of all places!
There are many ways of 'showing up' on Facebook: Do you surf? Do you stalk? Do you find your group and dig-in to fully contribute?
Showing up – on Facebook and in LIFE - allows us the opportunity to ‘bear witness’ for another, if we so choose.
Throughout time, pre-Facebook, ‘showing up’ or ‘bearing witness’ for another was a powerful act – one that comforted in times of distress or elation.
Perhaps you have a friend who naturally gets this - they are the ones that show up and are so simply just ‘there’ for you. If you've experienced this, you know it creates a deep connection unlike any other.
But seriously, can this really happen on Facebook, in a group full of strangers?
Yes, it can.
And it does, in the Boys Alive! private Facebook group (Consider this your first invitation to join us there).
Too often, it seems, we struggle with the feeling that we’re alone, that no one else feels the way we feel or has experienced what we’re experiencing.
This can feel overwhelming - especially as a parent.
After all, who cares about hearing all the mundane details of our lives - laundry, groceries, sick kids?
Yet, I’m sure you’d be the first to open your heart and listening ear to someone who said:
“I need you.”
“I’ve got a question.”
“Can you help me?”
“I would love your thoughts.”
You stand ready to bear witness to others who may be feeling alone…
Feeling alone, when our kid who has gotten in trouble at school – again.
Feeling alone, when our kid’s teacher wants us to have him tested for ADHD.
Feeling alone, when our kid makes us so furious we’re ready to leave home – for good!
YET, when we share – our victories and our defeats – we get down to being really human. We give and we receive – and yes, most of us are way more geared toward the giving than the receiving. (Yet in receiving we’ve just given the other the most precious gift of giving…funny how that circle works).
When we bear witness with each other in ALL of our moments – good and bad - we build community.
In her article, “The Power of Bearing Witness,” Judith Johnson explains, “When we bear witness, we lovingly give our attention to the other without judgment. We comfort without smothering. We play a supporting role - powerfully upholding the other starring in his or her life. It is not about us. It is about them… “
Bearing witness says, "You are not alone. I see you. I witness what you are experiencing. What you are experiencing matters to me. I surround you with my love.""
When we dare to ask a question or vent a frustration, then we may find ourselves surprised to realize that we aren’t alone – that someone else’s kid has done the same thing.
Then we catch that lifeline tossed from another that says, “Yep. Been there. We’ve survived. You will, too.”
We realize we aren’t alone when someone ‘shows up’ with just the exact right article, book, or person to recommend – when we were positive there wasn’t a solution to our 'unique' issue.
When you reach out because you just need to hear a voice and receive a virtual hug – and you are heard and hugged – that is powerful.
Then you really know that this Facebook thing is okay.
Sure, there is no substitute for real-time, face-to-face contact, but there is something to be said for OUR community – for all who have clicked and said, “Yes. I stand together with you – no matter what.”
In this group, we advocate for boys.
But that doesn’t mean we leave girls behind.
We advocate for understanding the uniqueness that we all have – and commit to changing our homes and schools so ALL kids can shine.
Along the way, our adult relationships change and grow, too.
We cry, scream, laugh, and share some emoticon love, too.
We bear witness
.We show up.
We’d love to have you!
*Join the Boys Alive! community below for updates and more.*