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When A Cyber Friend Goes Missing March 9, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Mindfulness, People.
81 comments

Andalib (Andi) Marks is MIA. 

I met Andi while writing on WEbook.  Last year, we sailed into the cyber sea to start our own blogs ~ Spirit Lights The Way and A Nightingale’s Blog.

Now, Andi’s disappeared . . . at least from cyber view.   

None of her WEbook friends has heard from her in weeks.  Her next to last post, First Date = Hospital, is dated January 28th.  Her last post, Reliving the Past, is dated February 2nd.  Her last comment went up on February 3rd. 

Since then . . . SILENCE.

There are two ways to interpret her silence.  We can assume the worst (as most people seem prone to do) OR we can assume the best.

When we assume the worst, by picturing her lying dead or dying at the foot of a jagged rock face, we grow concerned.  

What do we do with that concern? 

* We share it with others so they can be concerned too: “I’m worried. This isn’t like her.”

* We speculate about what might have happened, still assuming the worst: “She was going rock climbing. That’s so dangerous.”

* We interpret her actions through our lens: “If I was OK, I would WANT to let someone know.”

We question and ponder and wonder and worry,  robbing ourselves of peace of mind by making her disappearance about us, instead of about her.  

Andi is not robbing us of our peace of mind . . . we are doing it to ourselves.

The other option?  

We can assume the best and wish her well . . . wherever she is.  Instead of imaging the worst case scenario, we can use our imagination to create a best case scenario:

Andi, a young widow, recently embarked on a romance with her rock climbing instructor, Nick.  That relationship is new, exciting, and fun.

Now that her life is filled with joy and promise, she no longer needs us as a life-line.   Seeing us reminds her of the past, and what she lost when her husband died.  

We are her past.  Nick is her future (or, maybe, just her present). 

We’ve served our purpose . . . helping her to scale the jagged rocks from past life to this life.  She no longer needs us as a safety net.  Since she knew we wouldn’t let go of her . . . she let go of us by going missing.

She’s not dead or dying.  Just the opposite.  She’s returned to the land of the living where happiness resides.  She’s having a blast as she explores, dreams, and discovers the infinite possibilities residing around every curve of the coastline. 

Hanging on to us would hold her back.  We remind her of the storms she sailed through before her sun reappeared.  Now that the clouds have parted, she’s looking for her silver lining.  Since she doesn’t need us to do that, she cut the bow-lines and set sail for new horizons. 

My take may be correct or incorrect.  Or a bit of both.  It doesn’t much matter. 

Whether or not I’m correct, I have reclaimed my peace of mind on the issue.  

If something has happened, Andi’s family and friends in the real world are there to look out for her.  If nothing has happened, worrying won’t improve the situation one iota.  

If she is not “here” because she is having fun elsewhere, we have two choices:  

We can accept her departure gracefully and wish her well . . . or we can keep trying to make this about US by calling her back and dragging her out of her “happy place” to make us feel better because “we miss her.”  

If you love something, you must set it free. 

If you set it free and it returns, it is yours. 

If you set it free and it does not return, it is not yours and never was.

Rather than wasting time in idle worry, I shall wait in the cyber garden, listening for the whisper of a Nightingale’s wings to signal Andi’s return. 

And, if she never returns?  

I’ll picture her happy . . . somewhere over the rainbow.

No rules.  Just right!

How about you?  Have any of your cyber friends gone missing?  How did you respond?  Did they return?

Related posts:  What’s The BEST That Could Happen? * The “It Could Be Worse” Game * The Serenity Principle * Silence the Mind