Can you love someone you've never met? With the popularity of Instagram and other social media outlets, we get to see the inside story of people we might not even know. We see their posts, their pictures their comments and get to know them. Well, sort of.
Have you ever followed someone on Instagram? On that precocious app, users can carefully craft the life they want their viewers to see. Every perfect picture, caption, and post is crafted for the ultimate effect. And it works! We just HAVE to "follow" that person and see what unfolds next in their beautiful, exciting life! As a former actor, I wish I had had the power of that tool when I was younger. I may have had a very different career! Wow - it sure can pack a powerful punch! But, of course, we only see what they want us to see. So can you truly love that person if we don't see the whole person? The good and the bad?
Or what about a person you only know from social media, and perhaps you've actually met them in person once or twice. Can that be love? I'm not talking about romantic love - but love in the sense that you respect them and count them among your dearest friends. Does that even exist?
Well, I'm here to say it does! Specifically, I am thinking about 6-7 individuals that I've met online, worked with in a series of online experiences, and have only met in person once or twice. And one whom I have not ever met. And yes, I love these ladies!
How does this happen? Have you experienced it? For me, the women I am referring to are those that I have met while working my Young Living business. They too, have YL businesses, but for the most part, we are not on the same direct team. We just share a passion and wind up sharing information, tools, and hints to help each other grow. Oh, but it is so much more than than!
The women I have met are so strong! Fierce boss ladies who are juggling a variety of factors in their lives - kids, hubby, full-time jobs, church & community service - and running a growing business. But through out interactions, I have grown to love them all - and rightly so.
Besides a love of essential oils, we share a love of God, community, and country. We pray together, fight together, and cheer each other. When I hear them talk or see their posts, they talk from the heart - and often reveal raw details of their lives that can't be easy to communicate, but they do because it may help someone else.
One such online friend is going through a rough patch with her health. But all you have to do is look at her glowing face to know that she is touched by God - vibrant, loving, and grateful. I've never met her, but I love her and I know when we meet we will be as if we are long lost buddies.
Recently, one of my online tribe came to visit me in Florida. We'd only met a few times before at a conference, but we have become fast friends. I was so honored that she came to say with me and we had a great time. She is family. What a blessing to have so many friends I haven't met - but know so well! Kathy is full of love, passion, and the desire to learn more, and she and I have a perfect partnership with our weekly Zaturday Zoom chat sessions.
Jesus says to Love one another - and I try to do that. It's not easy. But as a Christian, I have to stop and remind myself that there is always another side ... the reasons why people do the things they do, that may have nothing to do with you. Not an offense to you directly, but just something they are going through. So, I try to love everyone on some level. It's hard to love those that act out against you -- like the UPS driver who took a dump in his truck and threw his soiled clothes on the side of the road in front of my house. (True story.) But I try to live with compassion and meet people where they are in life. (Don't know how I would have handled it if I had actually met this UPS guy - so thankful I didn't!)
Loving everyone you meet is so much easier said than done, but sometimes it is a piece of cake. You just connect on some level and never look back. It's easy and fun and amazing. It's full of potential and both of you fill in the gaps for the other's shortcomings. It's like 2 + 2 = 100. And if one of us hadn't reached out, taken a chance, and just made the first connection, the relationship may never have happened. What a shame.
However we may judge each other, these long distance, online connections have caused me to stop and try to keep an open mind. You never know where your next friend is coming from - and yes, you can really love someone you've never me.