Have you ever seen a big puddle, but stepped in it before you could stop yourself? Or worse – dog poop? As someone who is legally blind, people are always warning me of these kinds of things. Sometimes I process the warning and avoid it in time. Sometimes I step in it anyway.

Several months ago, I REALLY stepped in it. No one was there to warn me not to, but the signs were all there. I made a political post on Facebook. I wasn’t aligning with one side or the other. I was merely posting a question. I knew who’d I hear from and what side they would take. There were also some surprise contributors. Despite my genuine intentions, it got out of control quickly, with more arguing than I would have ever wanted. It led to one friend completely backing out of the post, out of respect to me, but unwilling to continue engaging in the debate. I was frazzled and no one’s mind was changed by all of the back and forth comments.

One of the “takeaways” from The Journey Training is that it goes beyond the training weekends. You are equipped with tools for living what you’ve learned. One of the tools I received was the PAUSE button. Basically, STOP, THINK IT THROUGH, THEN ACT. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember what I had learned!

I should’ve paused to think it through before I commented. I should’ve paused to think about the consequences. If I had hit the PAUSE button, my intuition would have predicted the ramifications of my post.

After the fallout from that post, I took time for reflection and received some wonderful feedback to help me learn from what happened. I didn’t just remember what I had learned or remind myself to pause, I created action steps that define what PAUSING means for me.

ACTION STEP #1 – I was challenged to NOT be the first to comment on any posts or statuses. Not only does it keep me from saying the first thing I think, but it also gives others the chance to share and shine.

ACTION STEP #2 – Facebook fasts. Just like food, sometimes we need a break from social media to cleanse ourselves and change a habit. Fasting removes the overwhelming “input” out there. Plus, I can’t impulsively comment on something I’m not seeing!

Maybe you can relate to this experience. If you can, I hope you find some value in these steps and possibly put them into action yourself.

The other great lesson I learned from this experience was the importance of surrounding myself with wise counsel. The Book of Proverbs in the Bible is filled with wisdom! For instance, Proverbs 27:17 (NLT) says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one friend sharpens another.” Surround yourself with people that will be honest with you and care about making you better. Ask for and accept their feedback!

The Journey Training is a group of people that help sharpen one another. They offer unique perspectives that help with all of the trials and triumphs we face in life. Best of all, they do it without judgement! If you’re looking for some tools to stop “stepping in it”, or you’re looking for some iron to sharpen you, consider enrolling in the next class!