During my tumultuous teenage years, I began a very useful habit--I kept a regular journal. It was the place I got to yell out all the crazy emotions that I didn't feel safe enough to display anywhere else. This self-therapy established a healthy outlet that got me through many a crises (and a few crushes) with my sanity intact.
When I started blogging in 2006, I had just moved to a new town. No one really knew me. No one even knew I blogged for years.
I started it both as a creative outlet and to let our family watch our kids grow up. Facebook was a newborn. I joined it later that year, but it was several more years before enough family joined to let my second reason for writing a blog shift platforms. But even before Facebook, very few family members seemed to read or comment on my posts, while I gathered a decent circle of online-only friends who did.
In this new world of pen pal relationships, I found it very easy to bare my soul. They were strangers, so what difference did it make if I just told them the real deal? I was already in the habit of being completely honest with my writing from all those years of journaling. While I didn't barf my darkest thoughts onto the internet (most of the time), I did become a little more vulnerable than felt entirely safe at times.
What amazes me most is how other people have responded.
Never once has anyone said to me, "I think you gave us too much information," or "Stop airing your dirty laundry on the Internet," or "How dare you ask such questions?"
Instead, it's been, "I hope you write a book about this someday," or "Your blog has helped me so much."
Comments like these humble me. I'm just a girl who is going through some stuff and learning from it. The fact that you want to read this at all amazes me. If I can bless you at the same time, that blesses me, too.
The people that inspire me most are usually very transparent about the hard things they went through and the ups and downs of their journey. I read stories that amaze me every day. Ordinary people (most of them on my friends' list) do the most extraordinary things. These folks give me hope for a better future in a world that can seem very dark at times.
I have recently decided that I would like to feature other people's inspiring stories on my blog, and have already got some stuff in the works. I can hardly wait to share with you these stories of courage, healing, and ordinary bravery about amazing people who are making themselves vulnerable with us.
Do you have an amazing story of inspiration or healing? Do you know someone who does that inspires you? Would you be willing to share your story? Please visit my "Contact" page to see the guidelines for what I am looking for, and if it's a fit, drop me a line!
Even if you don't want to be vulnerable on the world wide web, I encourage you to be more authentic and real in your interactions today, friend. Be respectful--you don't have the right to be hurtful to others just because you are being vulnerable. But by opening up your heart and showing others your weaknesses as well as your strengths, you become more of who you are, and give others permission to do the same. Isn't that the most loving thing to do?
You can bless others today just by being the real you. It doesn't get much cooler than that.
Happy Friday, friends!