The world is awash in words. Words meant to inspire, encourage love, espouse hate. Words intended to inform or designed to deceive. Words unrestricted by paper shortages; digitally unlimited.
Bloggers number in the hundreds of millions. Social media allows us to reach out and touch others. How far our reach goes depends on whether or not what we have to say resonates for others and how good our marketing is.
I’ve joined that blogging world. Twice.
I started my first blog, Pursuing Podcasts, last year. It was about podcasts. About other peoples’ work and thoughts. It continues to exist, albeit lightly used.
My second blog, Walk the Goats, I started on March 1, 2018. This year. Fifteen days ago. Walk the Goats is about my thoughts, thoughts from my inner landscape.
I write about things Bubba and I talk about: relationship stuff; “divine” versus “relative” selves; internal “characters” who show up to deliver their lines and take their positions when they hear their cues. I write about things I think about and want to share, including observations on personal growth and life and aging and random other stuff.
Walk the Goats is where I can write about what I want to write about and hope that others find my posts…interesting, relevant, instructional, illuminating, inspiring, funny.
Doing a blog about other peoples’ stuff was “easy” in the sense that they created and I curated.
If someone didn’t like my posts, I was a layer removed from the topic. Yes, I wrote about their podcast, but the original material was their material. Setting up Pursuing Podcasts offered a screen of protection from criticism.
Doing a blog about my own stuff feels risky.
While I find what I write about interesting, how will others respond? Will I say things that might offend others, in particular, others I care about?
I have a character who cares about what others’ think.
Will people post nasty comments and will I take the comments personally?
I have a character who ignores advice to “not take things personally” and stands to be hurt.
Writing about my stuff requires I face these fears and jump over hurdles.
One of those hurdles is the Judge within who has been incredibly effective at stopping me before I got one foot out the door or one blog posted.
“What wisdom do you have?” she asks dismissively? “What can you say that a thousand-other people haven’t already said, most of them saying it better than you?”
“Besides,” she goes on, “do you really want to contribute to the sea of words that are overwhelming the populace? I mean, seriously, isn’t there already enough sand on the beach? Do you think the grain of sand or two you add will make any difference to anyone?”
These taunts feel like the Judge trying to provoke me into not even starting this blog. And now that I’ve started, the Judge is trying new taunts to get me to quit.
“Do you really want to expose yourself to the wild wild west of the internet?” she asks, coming at it from a new angle. “With its trolls and critics, whose entire purpose in life is to attack, bully, berate and abuse voices with whom they disagree? You don’t like conflict. The internet IS conflict.”
With that argument, a light bulb goes on.
To put myself on the Internet puts me at risk of being critiqued, of being belittled, of being disagreed with. And that may be exactly what I need to face at this point in my life. I’ve played it safe for a long time; followed the rules; tried to avoid rocking the boat; worried about what “others” thought. If I want to learn how to do things differently, interact with the world differently—if I want to strengthen new “muscles”—isn’t straining against them how I help build them?
The very act of blogging and pushing through my fear and barriers both strains and strengthens my sense of what I’m capable of; of who I am. Meditation and spiritual readings provide ideas, exercises, concepts and beliefs that guide me toward greater awareness; they guide me toward mindfulness and kindness; they guide me toward finding stillness even when faced with an emotional storm.
The internet—and blogging my thoughts—puts me right into the storm. What better way to test how much I’ve learned? While continuing to hone my skills.
Daily Post-Inspired: Provoke