Today I’ve spent a great deal of time in my head mulling over the virtue of being fully disclosed, vulnerable, and authentic as we reveal our humanity to one another, versus the way we’ve been conditioned to hide what we think will make others uncomfortable—so that we can pretend we’re okay, and just sweep things under the rug, and just get on with our lives. This blog has been a space where I’ve purposefully made myself vulnerable, 1)As a space to explore my feelings in what I considered to be relative anonymity, because, honestly, no one in my life has ever really given a crap about this blog, so no one I know personally has ever followed it, and 2)As a way to connect with other humans who are interested in exploring the depths of feeling and being along with me.
Recently, however, multiple people have cautioned me against disclosing too much, and now I’m grappling with the idea that I might have to succumb to this societal proclivity to play nice, whistle a cheerful tune, and lay low until the storms have blown over…or worse, I’ll have to just suck it up, push my difficult feelings down, and be on my own with them until the storms have blown over. In either case, I’ll not be able to express myself authentically as I have been doing, and that feels just plain wrong. I have come to look forward to this time of sharing, reaching out, and connecting with the humans in this space who are brave enough to stand with me in the truth of what it means to be fully, consciously alive. I have come to value immensely the words of empathy and encouragement from those readers who have taken the time to comment and let me know that I’m not posting in a void, but there are actual, real people, reading my actual, real words, and my words mean something to them, evoke something in them…
Where do I go from here? In light of the recent trolling, the sense of safety I experienced in the past has been dashed to pieces, and I’m being pushed to make decisions out of fear of legal consequences. I’m full of questions and the answers aren’t forthcoming. I was given the argument “But your blog is public,” as a reason for why I should never have felt safe disclosing my personal thoughts and feelings; I was always running the risk of someone I knew reading what I had written, a risk that hardly bothered me at all. I always thought to myself, “If someone I know reads what I’ve written, good then, they’ll know how I really feel. They’ll know I’m human.” To have the potential for unpleasant legal consequences thrown in my face in an attempt to deter me from honestly sharing my experience feeds into the belief that we shouldn’t be real with one another, being real is unacceptable, being real is criminal, telling the truth of our experience is undesirable, etc. AUGHH. Or how about this one—we can only be real with certain people, safe people, and everyone else gets a persona, a fabrication of a false self that will do the trick of navigating social interactions while hiding the deeper truth that waits in all of us to be expressed.
No wonder our society is rampant with addiction! We’re being told constantly that only some parts of us are wanted and acceptable. Only some parts are worthy of being shared. All of the other parts get stuffed down, and while we’re pushing and pushing against them to keep them down, these unwanted, unacceptable, unlovable parts are pushing and pushing back at us to be expressed. We use any number of addictive behaviors to numb those parts down so that they don’t give us so much grief, but they remain there beneath the surface, clamoring for attention and starting their push to escape once the anesthetic wears off.
I made a conscious choice long ago not to play the addiction game. Decades of journaling and seven years of therapy, over a year of twelve step meetings and lots of sharing on Facebook, Instagram, and here has given me a sense of absolute responsibility to show up as my full self, regardless. This is my LIFE for God’s sake! Agreeing to back down now feels like a serious integrity breach, especially when, if you back away from the situation and look in, nothing that I’ve written is earth-shattering, nothing will sully anyone’s reputation…I’m just an ordinary woman writing about my ordinary life, and the fact that there are a few people out there who give a damn about it has been a beautiful bonus. Give that up now, when most other outlets for self-expression have fallen away? NO!
I don’t know what’s next. I’m going to think some more about this and decide if YogaMom should go on an extended hiatus while I figure my shit out…and then I can come back as YogaMom 2.0…and focus more on healthy lifestyle crap instead of my mental/emotional crap. Ugh. Would that serve anyone, though? Would privately working through the ugly dark night of my soul and waiting until I got “better” to post again actually help anyone? I’m inclined to believe that our pain links us to one another and reminds us that in this crazy game of life no one is spared devastation and annihilation…and when Life wants you to transform, it will do it to you, regardless of how ready you are or not. Sharing my story was a way for me to reach out and invite others to see that they are not alone in their own personal hell, but in fact, I am right there with them. I’ve been operating within the vision that at some point I will get better, and anyone interested can follow along and watch as this happens, and that perhaps my journey will help others who are suffering to see that they can get through their devastation one day at a time, just like me.
Maybe, though, it’s time to just be honest with myself. My posts may have helped nothing and no one. They may have just been moments of self-indulgence, clear evidence that I don’t have enough maturity to process these difficult feelings on my own and therefore need to “over share.” I just don’t know. I probably need to back away a least a little bit to gain some clarity over what purpose my posts were truly serving. If they are not bringing value to the lives of others, then it’s probably time for them to stop…