Monday, March 1, 2010

It's Not All About You, Except When It Is

A few days ago I revealed a struggle that I have been having that I'm not to proud of. In that post, I referenced some people in my life that I'm sure would probably not appreciate being the subject of a post, and I'm sure would have their own perspective on things. They have not to my knowledge read this post, nor may they ever, but I felt I needed to say a few additional things about it regardless of whether they ever do or not.

My intent is never to hurt or embarrass anyone on purpose, or needlessly. I never view a blog as a vehicle to inflict harm on others. My blog is my perspective on things, it's my space to work things out. The goals I had for this particular blog was to be authentic and fearless, even when what I have to say isn't comfortable for myself or others. I fully expect that people will disagree with my view of things, and that is absolutely fine. My standard for myself is "am I being real?" That being said, I'll always endeavor to be careful to be mindful of others, and have a care for their privacy, and won't reveal details that are not mine to reveal.

As is common when one is in the throes of their emotional wave, once the seas calm and one reviews things with a more clear head, the impulse, for me anyway, is to smooth the raw bits, mitigate the intensity of my feelings on the page, because in my life I have always been afraid to really expose those ugly bits for fear of not being pleasing to others. I thought about altering it, so as to soften it, or taking it down entirely, and ultimately decided that I would edit some specifics out that don't take away from the overarching tone and purpose of the post. I struggled with deleting it altogether, but even though I'm not proud of those feelings and it's not easy on my heart, it pushes me forcibly ahead in one of my stated goals--"tackling fear," as well as developing my authorial authenticity. Every writer needs a good editor, and in this case my editor self came to bear to channel and refine some of that raw emotion the writer had spewed upon the page.

Now to speak to the specific contents of that post, with the benefit of a few days to think and hear feedback. One commentator (none of whom left comments here, lest you think I deleted them) shared that from their perspective, the common denominator was me, and that I was deferring blame to others for my issues with forming good relationships. Ouch, that hurt! But, what they didn't know is that that is precisely what I fear as well. It is precisely why I tend to put so much pressure on myself about these issues, and why it is such a raw nerve for me. But perhaps by focusing so much on my own reaction to what essentially happens everyday to many others as well, it diverts the attention away from something I feel, based on other feedback, I'm not alone in feeling in the community of women and mothers.

While others may be blessed with a true north, unshakable sense of themselves, and I know some like that, I think they are the exception. Most of us are trying to navigate uncertain seas and searching for buoys of friendship to give us something to anchor ourselves to. When you can't find those buoys you feel...adrift, and it gets hard to keep swimming. This is what I was trying to get at.

Outside a small bird is flinging itself at my window. I figured long ago that they see their own reflection and see it as the enemy, and so are attacking it repeatedly, even though each time they just hit a glass wall. A few have killed themselves this way over the years. They are fighting the reflection of what is essentially themselves, beating their wings at a perceived enemy, and some have killed themselves in their misguided delusion.

Being different is hard. Being yourself is hard. It's a defining challenge I continue to struggle to surmount. Finding a way through it is the best gift I can give to myself, and my children.

Beautiful photo by nickburlett

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