The Personal Responsibility of Spirituality

Photo by David Bartus on

So today I did what we all fear. I found out I made a social media blunder. Thank the gods I only have 26 twitter followers so it wasn’t that bad, but it was not a good feeling when a close friend messaged me saying I looked like a dick online to others. So I am hoping that by writing this post I can clear some things up and hopefully have a chance to educate others on why I said what I said, and why I stand by it. I would have done this online a bit easier, but Twitter characted limits confuse and frustrate me, so here we are.

The incident in question happened a day or so ago. I help to moderate and manager a few online Amino communities in my spare time, all witchcraft realted. As you can only imagine, quite a few of these communities get infiltrated by bots and scammers, as well as people wanting all the information served up on a silver plater to them, but I digress. I was listening to music, and just in general vibing, when I got the below message:

Now when I originally read this, the first thing I checked was the members profile, mainly as I wanted to see if this was a real individual. This person had only joined the community an hour earlier, so didnt know me, my life, my views, or even give me a simply “Your posts are good and I could use some advice”. No, instead they messaged me the above out of the blue and to be honest, I got angry.

Spirituality is a very sacred thing to some people, myself included. To me this is not a simple ask a question, get an answer type of following but an actual way of life. To me, this is something that is a part of my core and a part of who I am, and what makes me “me” so to speak. I was already having a long and hard day at work, I needed multiple reports on a dealing with a server down for “maintenance” as well being burnt out in general and had been yelled at twice. When I got this message, I will admit, I was not a kind or nice person. I was angry. I had more than enough of my own stuff going on and frankly, I do not care about internet strangers very much. That being said, in a moment of anger I did make a tweet (see below) over the incident.

It was only later that I was told I looked like a jerk for the way I responded and what I said. Now reading back, I do realize it looks like I came across as an unfeeling toad. I did end up responding to the person, before I sent the tweet, and based on the “Thank You” message, I am hoping they were able to get from it what they needed.

That being said, this did get me to thinking about the personal responsibility we all have, to ourselves as well as to others about our spirituality.

We all go through tough times in our life. Everyone. No one on this earth is immune from this effect and the way it can cause us to reach out and ask for help. The personal responsibility comes in when knowing when to ask for help, and how. Spirtiuality and religion is deeply personal to multiple people around the world, so to me asking for someone to fix that for you is a big ask, especially for a stranger. While you may be hurting, you have no idea what I, as a person, am going through. To you I am simply an avatar on the internet, however I am still a person. Asking someone to help fix something as deep as spirituality is shifting the responsibility to them, it is asking them to do the work you will not do. It is asking them to take on the responsibility of your spiritual path, success, and failures.

It is not my responsbility to fix your spiritual path, no is it anyone elses, mainly as we cannot. I did not live your life, I do not have your experiences, and anything I say or do would only really resonate with me. It is fine to ask for help, it is something we all do, but to place such a heavy burden on this as a stranger is not only inappropriate, it is wrong. I honestly thought about this person the rest of the day, I wondered if they took my advice, if they were feeling better, if they were real or a bot. I literally gave so much time and energy to this person that day, time and energy I did not have in excess to give. All over a stranger, one who had been online an hour in a community that I have not seen them online in since.

Before we go asking others for help, we should first ask ourselves “what can I do to help this?”. We should be sdking ourselves is this the time to worry about this, is this something I can speak with a close friend or family member about, is this even important to me anymore? We should take responsibility for our own decisions and ask ourselves if the reason we are not feeling the way we used to could be due to a massive change? A life change perhaps? And if so, would a stranger be able to help? Or are we just looking for the easy way out, someone to do the work for us?

Everyone goes through times of spiritual and mental crises, and that is okay. It is okay to feel lost and confused. It is not okay to make this the responsbility of someone else to lead you through it. It is not okay to ask strangers on the internet to take responsibility for your decisions and actions. We all have our own lives and our own stuff going on, we all deal with death and jobs and school and a pleathora of other stressors in our lives. Dont ask us to take on yours. Instead, be willing to start the change yourself and see it through the end. At the end of the day, this is something only you can fix and address as an individual, no one else can do this for you.

Was I dick on Twitter? Probably… it probably won’t be the last time either (I am NOT great with social media). To whoever wrote that, if you see this, I apologize for adding your message to my tweet. However I do not apologize for what I said, for I feel it is important for you, dear reader, to realize that there is another person on the other side of your request. One who was already tired, and frustrated, and not in a good place. One who worried about what you said, how you reacted to what I said, and one who was not in the mood to inspire. Instead, I myself was looking for inspiration, so I hope you appreciated what little I had to give.

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