Turns out the question that Barry asked is a really interesting one for me. and as such, I thought it was a worthy question to spend some time examining in my blog post today. I think there is a gem for me that may be excavated from this experience.
So, why do I share my personal stories and art work with everyone, and what is it that I hope to achieve by doing that? I have been thinking a lot about what the answer to that may be.
To start with, whenever I find myself feeling defensive and on the hot-seat, like it or not, this is the area I need to do the work on in my life. No exceptions! This is where my soul is crying out for some awareness. My defensiveness is merely a sign post (fear), pointing me in the direction of my insecurities.
I am growing to love questions that evoke defensiveness. They bring all of my insecurities screaming to the surface so I can begin to shine a light on them and get to know my Self better, and in the process I can begin to overcome those insecurities. I know I am facing one of those kind of questions when I want to retreat back into my dark corner that is only big enough for one, isolating myself from the rest of humanity. And I have done just that, plenty of times. I hide out in my dark lonely corner, beating the crap out of myself for not having the foresight to keep my secret about how unworthy and fraudulent I am, from the rest of the world. Better to be thought a fool than open your mouth and prove it, kind of thinking. I had just hit send and now the rest of the world now knows how stupid I really am too. These moments are so painful, but they are also valuable.
I am learning that when I feel fearful like this, I can actually choose to look at the fear with interest instead of dread, and the difficult situation then becomes an opportunity that I can learn from. Curiosity is the key to turning what was seconds ago painful defensiveness, into the gift of freedom
That story that I have been telling about who I thought I needed to be, in order to part of, is a lie. And it is safe right now to choose to let that story go and step into my true Self, instead. I am not the story ever. I am not the story I am writing right now either. The only reality is that I am part of the God energy that we all are. That is it. What I get out of this realization depends on how willing I am to allow that God energy to move through me, how open I am to surrendering my old stories of pain, to that energy, how willing I am to be part of the cosmic soup instead of wanting to be "special" (apart) and finally, how willing I am to allow that omnipotent Truth to heal me in my moment of despair, Everything I need to be whole is there. It always has been. I have just allowed my fears to run rampant and to cut me off from my Source.
In order for me to see any of this, I must first share the crap that is in me to give, in order to unearth any kernel of truth about where I am at. I can't see it when it is inside me alone. I must risk hitting send and exposing what I believe I am in this moment, so I can examine it and see my Self more clearly. This confusion that I write about here is the real me. I am confused about who I am. It is foolish for me to try and convince you otherwise. And the truth exposes the secret. And the secret has bound me to my fears and kept me paralyzed and isolated for too long as it is. It is true that I am only as sick as my secrets.
This is why after taking that measly half a glass of wine (may as well been a case of wine) this summer, after 12 years of sobriety, I was on dangerously shaky ground. As long as I kept that fact a secret, it had tremendous power to control me.. and it is also why after I finally shared the secret, the obsession to drink again, was miraculously and instantaneously removed from me. My secrets keep me sick. So when I press send and put my secrets out there, they lose there power over me. And I am healed and set free. In the process of sharing I find grace and interestingly, it no longer matters what you think of me.
I had a date yesterday, with a lovely friend whom I admire. She has been documenting her newly found sobriety with daily posts and I love everyone of those beautiful posts so much. I thought she must be more confident, more intelligent, more brave, and more "special" than me to be able to share like that. I thought it must be easy for her to hit send, because she has all of this great stuff to share with us. But, she told me that sharing is not easier for her either. She just shares her message anyway, and her sharing helps people (my conclusion, not hers). I believe that by feeling the fear and doing it anyway, she has discovered a key to serenity. I love her regardless of her admitted short-comings, struggles and imperfections she talks about in her posts, as a matter of fact I find that I love her all the more for them. My attempts to to be perfect keep people from being able to be there for me. And it keeps me isolated and separate from the love they have to offer me. No happiness or purpose can be found in my dark corner. None of us are perfect. We are all vulnerable. My friend is a great teacher and I am so appreciative of the lessons she brings with her courageous sharing. Don't we all want to be honest and fearless, and isn't that why we are so attracted to people like my friend? They have what we all want...they have a freedom that can only be found in being vulnerable and fearless.
I believe, we all have a deep yearning to share our true Selves. This may be because that kind of sharing gives us the opportunity to release ourselves from the illusion that we need to be perfect in order to be accepted and included. The truth is that our connection with others is found in us sharing our imperfections. People feel relieved when they see someone being vulnerable and they get to see that sharing their own vulnerability does not actually kill them, but, it actually makes them stronger. Look at Brene Brown, and how the world has embraced her because she refuses to be anything less than fearless. I love her quote, "Your fears are boring." And they are. My fears stand in the way of everything that I desire in this life. And deep down I know this....but....and whatever comes after the "but" is where the work is to be done. That is the place where where my fears still have a stronghold over me.
What is there to fear about with sharing anyway? When my friend shares her personal struggles, challenges, joys, and learning, it is inspiring and refreshing. So maybe I can just damn the torpedoes straight ahead. I want to go fearlessly where I have not dared to go before. I want to share that I don't really know anything. I am just bumbling along in my search for peace and purpose in my life, and I am pretty sure that neither will be found in all my crap isolated thinking.
When it comes to the matter of sharing and writing form the heart, I am like a baby who is just learning to walk for the very first time. I am a newbie. I have never written openly from the heart before because I did not know how to connect my mind and heart. I never even knew you could do that. My ego has always been much louder than my heart. It says things like, "You need to be intelligent Jeanette. Don't let them all know that you question your intelligence, because then they might think you are stupid, unworthy....vulnerable. When you are vulnerable you risk exposing all the ugliness of who you really are to the world." My sister told me a long time ago (perhaps like all good teaching sisters do) that she did not like the person I was. I carried that doubt and insecurity around with me all of these years. What she could have said is that she did not like how I was behaving. But I heard that I was a bad person and I always believed that. But the truth is that I am a God person, just like we all are, and a God person can not ever be bad, They can be confused and unaware. I think this is where I got off track. I have been searching outside of myself for anything that can validate my self-worth and make me feel like I was a good person, and of course I haven't found the thing that could do that. I have had nice clothes, nice hair, nice things, but it was an inside job that has needed to be done. And through sharing my doubts and fears with the world, I am coming to see my worth.It has been scary as shit, but it is worth it.
So, I will do what I do and share my thinking for today. I don't care if it wins any awards for quality and intellect, or if I cringe after I send it, because there is truth in my immaturity. Better to be honestly immature than to be deceitfully mature, right? Life takes courage if you really want to find meaning in it. So in answer to why I share my personal thoughts with the world; I do it to be set free.
Peace and Light to you all!