I used to say that "we can be each other's free therepy" by simply talking and listening to each other, with concern and compassion.
I believe this opportunity has grown immesurably with internet discussion forums.
In the real world, you meet someone and first impression - the outside of them - is what you use to judge them. You notice the manner of carrying themselves, their voice, their expressions. You might, after a while find out what is inside them, what they are behind the visual. It might be months, or even years later, that you can find out what their innermost feelings are. You may never find out!
In the virtual world though, especially places like prayer discussion board circles, isn't it funny that we experience a person's deepest innermost feelings first!
In the real world this would be called "wearing one's heart on one's sleeve," meaning that they are 'transparent,' you can see through the facade and they are laid out for you to see them uncovered. Wearing one's heart on one's sleeve is of course dangerous, and we would likely never consider telling innermost feelings at first meeting...
In the virtual world, first of all we can use a fake name, we don't have to tell people anything about who we truly are, and we can feel free to 'spill our beans,' or 'let it all out' saying whatever we really feel.
I used to use the phrase "pen-pals who have come to life" referring to friends met in discussion forums. I'll never forget the first time a discussion friend sent me a picture. I had put together a very different idea of them in my mind... now it would seem that the same happens in reverse when we meet people, we might have a very different idea of what is inside until we get to know it eh?
This all makes me wonder: "Is typing in little boxes on my computer screen being unsocial?" In the past I would have thought, of course! But now, we are not only making real, true, honest friends in the best sense, but we are allowed to "wear our hearts on our sleeve" and feel safe and within our circle of sacred closest friends...
This gives me the warmest fuzziest feeling of knowing I have true friends with whom I can share my joys, plights, ups and downs, and will get compassionate feedback. Thanks and love to you all!
It reminds me how the phrase "Rap Group" up to the 70s meant a "Group Therepy" session where there was a) the nervious introductions, b) sharing feelings and issues and c) hearing other people's opinions which hopefully, and often DID resolve the issues. Maybe we have all evolved to using the safety of typing in our little boxes, getting our deepest feeling out, having a compassionate shoulder to lean on, ear to talk to, and we now are each others free therepy!
Of course there are security issues and we cannot trust people just by their words, some people have sad stories about internet meetings, but many people have great success stories of meeing kindred souls, and having their "issues" healthfully resolved. Now isn't that nice! he he..
I'm just sharing that I am so pleased with having found very nice friends in these discussions, and it is heart warming that I can nowadays, in most cases, wear my heart on my sleeve!
Love and light being 2 U all, Teo