Authentic

I’ve written here about how much I’ve struggled over the past year. The truth is that those struggles, all of them, have run much deeper than what I’ve revealed. I have something of a reputation for being a strikingly honest blogger, and it’s bothering me that I’m glossing over things here. Part of me, most of me, wants to be worthy of that reputation, wants to share everything and be completely open. This blog started as a vehicle through which to tell my story. It’s made my life so much richer and brought me such comfort and joy, and much of that benefit arose from my honesty. The hard posts. So how can I avoid the hardest posts?

Partly, I’ve realized that my story is not just my own, and I’ve had brushes with the collision of my thoughts and feelings with the people who are involved in my story. This also creates conflict within me, because is it healthy, wise and fair to be more honest here than I sometimes am in my relationships? Is this level of honesty best kept private, as it would have been before blogging? I can’t say so, because your involvement, your words of encouragement are a huge part of what blogging has done for me.

The social nature of the blogosphere also makes it hard not to worry about the image I’m projecting. At what point does sharing bad news and venting personal feelings just become embarrassing and isolating? It’s much like trying to decide what to share with family and friends offline- how much can I trust them? Trust them to understand, not to question my motives in sharing the truth, to let love and affection overcome judgment and disappointment?

That I’m concerned about acceptance and judgement means that I feel a deep sense of shame and responsibility- culpability- for the struggles of the past year. Regardless of anyone else’s mistakes and misjudgments and regardless of circumstances well beyond my control, I have, at times, been a poor steward of what I can control. That makes the depth and breadth of my situation all the more shameful.

The most interesting reason I’ve kept the worst of things from you, though, is that every time I’m at my absolute wits end, someone steps in to help me out of it. Their generosity and kindness leaves me humbled to the point of feeling foolish. For feeling so desperate, so alone, so upset and angry. For allowing others to pay for my foolish mistakes.

A commenter suggested that I set up an avenue through which people could send me money. A tip jar, an engine fund. My reservations about that run parallel to my disclosure dilemma. Do I deserve, more than any other person, to get money simply because I need it? There are so many people who are worse off than I am, who haven’t gotten any help, who had a lot less control over their situation than I have. How can I be worthy of your help if I’m not sure I’m even worthy of your empathy or sympathy?

Of course, part of my holding back is out of pride. Admitting the reality of where we are and how we got here to everyone who reads or ever finds this blog is scary and hard. Which is exactly what makes it so important.

I’ve been working on a gratitude post for Thanksgiving, and to write the post I want and need to write, I have to talk about details I’ve avoided revealing. So I will. Because my gratitude far outweighs my pride. Because I want to be authentic. Because I want to deserve the reputation of stark honesty I’m known for. Because I’m ready to forgive myself. Because I’m ready to trust you. Because I’m ready to be real again. Because maybe revealing the depth of my misery will finally lessen it. And maybe revealing the utter dept of my gratitude will help me hold it closer to my heart longer.

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3 Responses

  1. If you really feel you can’t be yourself on your own blog then where can you be? Sure, things you write about impact on other people’s lives but I read for you and don’t really care about the others involved x

  2. I say you just let it all flow. Or, at least, what you’re comfortable letting come out. You will feel better. And, maybe you’ll get some advice or a perspective you hadn’t seen or thought of before. We’re here to listen, after all.

  3. Forgiving yourself fully is the best gift you can ever receive. You deserve as much as you think you deserve independent of everyone else. Look at it like this, if you think you deserve millions, then maybe it will come and when it does, you would have lots to help many others in need if that’s what you choose to do. Does that make sense? I hope so! Regardless, the blogosphere loves you and supports you in whatever situation you may be in.

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