You’re probably starting to get a bit of an idea about who I am. And I don’t mean what I like to do on my weekends or how I like my steak. You know exactly what’s going on inside my head. And probably why it’s going on. Hopefully you’ve read at least one thing that makes you think twice or makes you think about times when you’ve experienced similar things and resonated with you. I guess this is what it’s all about. The thing is, I’m not writing my blog because I feel like I know better about anything than you do. I’m writing because there’s a fair chance you’ve gone through some of the same things I have, thought some of the things I have. So often when we go through difficult times we look inwards and worry. Worry that there might be something wrong with how we’re thinking or how we are responding to a particular situation. While it might be instinctive to do this, I’m not so sure it’s the right path to take.
My writing has not been about getting people to follow me or to get high numbers of views on my blog. If it were, it’s fair to say I’m not particularly successful in that so far! Initially it was just about writing something. I love working with words and it just gives me pleasure to sit down and think through a topic by cobbling together some ideas and trying to make sense of it. But as I have written more, a new element has become apparent. Friends and (now former!) colleagues often comment about something that I have written and tell me that they think the same way or that they love a particular part that I have shared. It’s showing me the value of sharing your true self without the mask-wearing persona of daily life. Fighting that instinct to worry that people will think you’re a bit odd if you tell them what’s inside has opened a whole new world. And it’s spectacular!
What I’m trying to say here is that chances are, you’re not weird. The thoughts you have, they have already been thought by someone before. And maybe that someone didn’t share them either. So by sharing your worries or your thinking on a topic, it can not only lighten your own load, but it can offer value to others too. If you share your ‘stuff’, someone might hear it and say, “Wait. I’m not so alone in this after all.” Getting to the crux of things, going beyond the superficial, we can relate better to others, and understand ourselves and others better. I know I’ve mentioned previously that having hard conversations with my partner has only served to bring us closer, even when we thought it might do the opposite.
I guess it’s about not only being honest with others, but about being honest with yourself too. I mean, we can project a sense of confidence, but really be dying inside with fear. But where’s the harm in telling someone that you’re afraid. Rather than bulging with false confidence, we could alternately name the emotion for what it is (in this example, fear), and begin to work through exactly what is underlying. Discussing this with somebody else will open you up to the experiences of others and ways to move forward. Simply owning up to the fear or whatever other emotion or thought is bothering you is the first step along the path to personal growth and self love.
Of course, these days so many people retreat to the perceived anonymity of sharing things on social media. I actually think this will have the opposite effect to that of a face-to-face conversation. Because it’s likely that this kind of sharing will be brief and lacking detail, I feel that it is so superficial that instead of having the same effect as a conversation, it causes people to bottle up the true, underlying emotions. There’s no opportunity for deep and honest discussion, because often the information provided is piecemeal. So in my mind, opening up to a trusted friend has far greater potential benefit. Or at the very least, write it down in a journal. At least it’s on paper then, and loses the momentum required to roll around incessantly in your head!
I certainly don’t mean to suggest that everyone should get out there and start writing a blog. It’s not for everyone – like I said, for me it’s a vehicle to write. But I do suggest that you share more of yourself in a forum that’s right for you. It will give you not only a greater connection with others, but also a deeper understanding of yourself. Sharing is a great way to relieve your burdens, relate to others, and feel a little less alone in this hectic world. It just requires you to be a little bit vulnerable. So don’t worry. You’re not weird or crazy. Well, probably not. And if you are, there’s a damn good chance that your best friend is a little weird too!
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