Last spring, I got a phone call from the police about my Facebook account. Apparently, they had received a few complaints.
The inspector left a voicemail asking me to call him back. I was afraid to.
Did I need a lawyer?
Was he going to trick me into saying something that would incriminate myself?
Would they arrest me if I didn’t call back?
I had no idea what I should do. It stressed me out for the rest of the day.
I asked a couple people for advice and then decided to call. I figured at least I should know what I was dealing with.
He wanted to make sure everything was OK and that I wasn’t blaming anyone for anything or feeling persecuted or whatever. He wouldn’t tell me who had complained or why (he used the word “complaints”). He referenced a joke about a gun someone had made in the comment section of one of my posts. It was obviously a joke and he knew that.
He was pleasant, and didn’t seem concerned that I was a threat. Just doing his job.
The whole incident scared me and made me think twice before posting on Facebook again.
I wasn’t posting about violence or anything like that. My posts were about meditation and freedom of speech and how we could live together harmoniously as a society.
But, they didn’t agree with the popular narrative of the day.
(They didn’t disagree…they just didn’t have the right codewords in the right places.)
The threats are real. Speaking your mind will get you in trouble.
That’s why you’re afraid to speak up.
It’s not because you have “social anxiety disorder” or because you’re “shy” or because you’re “unmotivated”. It’s because people will punish you when you speak up (I bet it happened when you were a kid, right?).
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that now you know where the issue is. It’s not you, it’s them.
So, that’s our task: to figure out how to say what needs to be said without getting destroyed. I don’t know how to do it. But, this is the practice.
First step is becoming aware of what needs to be said.
Second step is becoming aware of your fear of saying it.
Let’s get good at those first.
This takes deep introspection and it’s not obvious how to do it.
Good luck if you want to do this without meditation. It’s the quickest path to self-awareness and understanding. No Problem will get you started.