Echo Chamber

The truths we used to hold as irreversible, undebatable truths are appearing to be false, and the most outlandish happenings are occurring more and more in ways that can leave us feeling hopeless if we aren’t careful. 

For example, I’m sure most of us could not have imagined a time where we’d have to live through something akin to living through a plague must have been like. But it’s not always that far-fetched—sometimes it’s as simple as us not being able to fathom a life without a partner, friend, or family member in it. However, as we continue to evolve and change, it’s becoming apparent that yes, some people actually don’t fit into our lives anymore, and that’s okay.

About this time last year, I lost one of my best friends. Now, I’d love to say that it was a situation where all was communicated well (with all the writing I do about communication and transparency on my blog), but it is very much a situation where I look back and am, at first, unsure of what went wrong. In retrospect, I can remember specific conversations I had with this person—and feelings I had about these conversations subsequently—that left me with a sense of knowing that the clock was ticking on our friendship. Maybe they did as well, I’ll never know. But since neither of us heeded those warnings and ended our association with one another, we were left with a situation that very much seemed like one day we were the best of friends and our last conversation, a disagreement, ended up being our last conversation ever

I’ve since come to a place of closure about it and wish that person nothing but love and peace, even if we no longer live a life with each other in it. I also still firmly believe that person is part of my soul-family, and our souls will always find one another. As I reflect on the loss of that person physically, one thing I realize I value the most about our friendship was how they never let me think the things I thought and that just be it. We always challenged each other with love, encouraged each other to think things through more deeply, and attacked situations from multiple angles before deciding on a proper course of action. 

This decision to be presently active in each other’s lives led to an environment where we could be ourselves, and, even if the other person didn’t agree with the other’s thoughts or actions or statements, we could effectively get that across without belittling, attacking, or, for the most part, projecting. 

I am someone who comes across as knowing the things I know very deeply and passionately. It is hard to sway my thinking on something simply because if I’ve formed an opinion on it, I’ve thought about it very intentionally and arrived at a concrete conclusion. What this sometimes meant in the past, when it came to friendships and relationships was that I’d find myself looking around and being unable to find people with a difference of opinion from myself. 

I believe a lot of us exist within echo chambers, too afraid of challenging ourselves or surrounding ourselves with people who challenge us to state our thoughts beyond explaining with, “Because I said so,” or, “That’s what I’ve heard.” The more I’ve worked on myself the past year or so, the more I’ve decided that is a place I won’t return to—more than ever before, I have people close to me who challenge me, disagree with me, and enlighten me. Being in an echo chamber is dangerous because if we don’t challenge ourselves and each other, none of us grow. If we don’t grow, we don’t evolve. If we don’t evolve, we get left behind. If we get left behind, we don’t end the cycle. 

I challenge each of you to find—and hold close—the people who challenge you most. Those people are your soul family.

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