“Start ignoring people who threaten your joy. Literally, ignore them. Say nothing. Don’t invite any parts of them into your space.” Alex Elle
This quote circulated on Facebook last week. It made my blood boil. People going through a hard time or struggling with a mental, social, or emotional condition are often ostracized because of this very belief. Under the guise of self-care, the Christian call charity is negated and those weaker are not supported.
When a person is trying to recover from a depression episode or is just plain moody by nature it is good for them to hang around with people who see the good, don’t complain, laugh a lot, and enjoy life. When a person is anxious it’s good for them to hang around people who tend to be calm and unflappable. To do that they need welcoming people in their lives, not self-protective ones.
There is only one time when it is good to ignore people who threaten your joy, and not let them into your space. That is when they truly threaten your mental and emotional health. Hopefully, that will be temporary. Any other reason falls under the category of not wanting to be inconvenienced.
If you happen to be fortunate enough to be happy, content, and surrounded by all kinds of support and good fellowship, the Christian mandate demands you to be welcoming, indeed it demands going out to people you most want to avoid. We don’t get to pick and choose who we will or will not welcome based on our personal taste and interests. If we are to be Christ in the world we are to be welcoming to all. That is the only way to be truly happy anyway.
“We have observed that, in society and the world in which we live, selfishness has increased more than love for others, and that men of goodwill must work, each with his own strengths and expertise, to ensure that love for others increases until it is equal and possibly exceed love for oneself.” Pope Francis
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