Wednesday, February 05, 2014

The Hard Road...

Whenever I heard the saying, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions", I always grappled with the meaning.  This is not to say that I didn't understand what it was intended to mean, but I always thought that if one tried their best and was filled with good intentions, then it couldn't possibly end badly.  The truth is that even with the best intentions, a seemingly benign situation can quickly and easily spiral out of control.

For example, I started a group on Facebook where I could find new homes for my excessive treasure trove.  I have been collecting things for years and the hoard has grown in such proportions that I will never be able to use everything in my lifetime.  I have been having Virtual Yard Sales and Destash Events for years, but wanted to create and establish a closed group on Facebook that would be specifically for those interested in acquiring things from my stash.  Having a closed group wouldn't bog down the Timelines of my friends and family who weren't interested.

It started out simple enough and eventually I wanted to open up the opportunity to others to share their excess treasures.  I firmly believe in providing opportunities for others and this was a way that I could give back to the community.  I understand that the economy is still recovering and wanted to open the door to other artists and collectors who wanted to lighten their load and pad their pockets.  (I also wanted to peek into other's collections and find some new treasures of my own!  I am a bit of a hoarder, after all!)

With the exception of a few hiccups, things seemed to be going along quite nicely!  We formed a wonderful group that was more than just buying and selling things, but was built on camaraderie and friendship.  I looked forward to my Destash Events.  They were always so much fun!

And then things started to fall apart.

I don't want to get into all of the specific problems that started to arise (mainly because this post might become quite lengthy and it's not particularly respectful of the parties involved, nor is it necessary for the purpose of this post), but eventually it wasn't fun for me anymore.  I was spending several hours each day answering questions and diffusing problems.  I so badly wanted the group to work out.  I had poured so much positive intention into the group and wanted to see people have every opportunity.  Keep in mind, I wasn't being paid or compensated for these extra administrational duties.  I did it, because I wanted to do good works and see others thrive.

In the course of maintaining the well-being of the group, I lost friends that I have had for several years and had less than pleasant incidents with some of my peers and customers.  Even though from the outside, the group seemed to be running just fine, the toxic environment lived beneath the surface and proliferated rapidly. It got to the point where some of the participants of the group were complaining about the tiniest of things, even if it didn't really effect anyone.  It all adds up though.  If you add enough pebbles together, eventually you'll have a mountain.

I had to evaluate what was important to me and if all the frustration was really worth it.  I came to the conclusion that you can't clean a plate in a dirty sink.  I decided to start over.  It wasn't an easy decision to make and I knew that people had spent a lot of time and energy into contributing to the group and that some of the members were counting on it financially.

When I finally came to the resolution to disband the group and start over with a new group, I could feel people's hearts sink.  For many of the participants of the group, I had shielded them from the worst outbursts and daily nags and it was still a fun place to be, but I knew that if I didn't act and act now, things would unravel to the point where they couldn't be put back together.

Sometimes we try our best and put all our good intentions into making something work, but if it's not meant to be, fighting the inevitable only hurts you more.  Sometimes you have to let go of what you think you must do out of self-imposed obligation and follow your heart, even if it hurts.  I was so afraid of how people would be angry with me or disappointed that I was dissolving the group, but I think once they knew the extent of how unhappy I was, the members that I grew to love and cherish supported my decision 100%.  Of course, there were those out there that were mad and upset, but I feel that once I committed to the decision to start over and create a new group, all of the fear and anxiety left me.  Their anger at me slid right off.  The knots in my stomach unwound.  My heart lightened and the prospect of rebuilding the community washed away all the needles and pins of the previous weeks.  It was profoundly liberating to draw a line in the sand and make a stand for myself and say, "Enough!"


Erica F. said...

Well said my friend. Namaste.

A Polymer Penchant said...

I am now picturing you atop a steamroller, making a sharp left, and shouting over you shoulder to the rest of the crew "nah, we're gonna go this way now". The fact that there is such an expression is kind if a bummer that so often the well meaning do good sort give and give only to suffer.

Anonymous said...

Could I belong to your new group? I promise I will accept everything as is. I would tell you to go to my etsy review but my son cleaned my computer and wiped them all of but in the 2 years of buying I only posted 1 negative comment. I am a jewelry designer in the mountains of central Calli and I never sell anything because I can't part with it(hoarder in me). You can check me out on FB. Thanks
Debra Freeland

Andra said...

Excellent way of explaining your decision. You are the only one who could decide "Enough" I am glad you made your decision and will support you any way I can.

Margot Potter said...

My mother often says, "No good deed goes unpunished." Though I don't know that it's true always, it is definitely true sometimes. People get weird in groups, power struggles emerge, things get funky and it's funny how personally things get taken that aren't personal at all. I have been there, felt the sting and wondered why people so quickly assume the worst when a simple phone call or email could clear it all up. I made an executive decision to remove myself from drama as much as possible. It's exhausting and soul sucking and mostly pointless. People are going to think what they choose to think and no matter how delightful we are, there will always be someone who finds something to dislike about us. And I leave you with this quote, which is one of my favorites, "It's none of my business what other people think about me." Love, Madge

Jeanne @ Gems By Jeanne Marie said...

Andrew, You did a great job hiding most of the drama in the destash group. I was surprised to see it getting so large. You did the right thing to start over. I'm glad you realized how important it is to take care of yourself.