It’s official. I’m in Love. Last week I fell completely, utterly, whole-heartedly, head-over-heels back in love with the process of writing. And like any love-struck fool, my emotions got the best of me and I wanted to “share my love with the world.” And so, I shared my last post, “Locker Room Talk”, on my personal Facebook page. (Eek!!!!!!!)
To be fair to myself, I have to say…I was feeling good, REALLY good. Most of you reading this are writers too. So you probably know how it feels when you’ve had these thoughts and feelings bumping and floating around in your head and suddenly they all just start coming together in perfect order. The first time your fingers hit the keyboard (or paper), it feels almost 3rd person. Sometimes this can just be a sort of emotional release. But sometimes it’s bigger than that. You go back to proof-read it, and start moving things around and editing and clarifying. And then again and again. And finally, you read it and there is this moment where the very CORE of who you are and everything you’ve been trying to get out screams, “THAT’S IT!” It’s a great process. It’s a great feeling. Hence…the falling in love.
The problem is….I had planned to wait much, MUCH longer to share this blog with anyone in my real life…..if I shared it at all. I started this blog for very personal reasons and I didn’t want to complicate it with the opinions of people in my “real life.” My plan was to be open and vulnerable, Yes. But not THAT open, and not THAT vulnerable after only 4 posts!
And yet, in my giddy excitement, I pushed that dang share button. “If anyone even reads it,” I thought in my excitement, “they’ll just think it is some random article I decided to share!” And so I passed up the opportunity to undue what I had just done, and proceeded to go to bed with a satisfied smile on my face.
But then I woke up. And there it was, “Did you write this?” I took my hands off the keyboard and stared at the comment…..Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit! Moments like this are when truth-telling, in its most literal term, is compulsive for me. I could have just not responded, I didnt have to actually LIE. I could just…not answer…..Simple as that. Except this is me we are talking about. So I confessed. And then I braced myself.
Braced myself for the embarrassment of being exposed. Braced myself for the self-doubt that was about to flood up my mind. Braced myself for people finding my full site and reading the posts that were much more personal and emotional in nature. The more the notifications flashed across my phone and the more the “views” went up on my WordPress stats page, the more anxiety AND excitement I got. I found myself checking my phone and then immediately being annoyed with myself. Did I just ruin the integrity of this entire blogging process for myself?
I managed to make a completely unnecessary mess for myself this time and I was honestly, kind of pissed at myself. But then I had a thought. I can LET this ruin it for me, or I can “Embrace the Mess.” Isn’t that what I’m trying to do here anyway? Maybe I didn’t ruin it for myself….I just created an opportunity to practice what I’m preaching.
So I decided to just take it in. To observe. I observed myself experience this level of vulnerability. I observed myself react to the compliments with a sense of pride and joy. And then I observed myself judge myself for feeling good about it. It was like I had decided that if I enjoyed the compliment, that it somehow meant my original purpose for writing it was negated. I was literally depriving myself from feeling the joy of the experience. And then I judged myself for that!
Phew. Just observing the whole process with that kind of clarity was exhausting. Is this what I put myself through on a regular basis? “Probably,” I thought. So can I just….NOT do that anymore? Or at least….NOT do that this time? Can I just be gentle with myself?
And so I stopped. I just stopped. Stopped judging and overthinking. And I just let myself be in the moment of having my friends, family, acquaintances, new blogging community and stranger appreciate my thoughts and feelings on the page. I let myself appreciate the moment and feel the joy of the whole thing. And it felt beautiful.
I Embraced the Mess. And then an amazing thing happened. I felt BLESSED by the mess.
Embrace the Mess Loves….even the ones you cause yourselves.
~Be Gentle. Be Beautiful. Embrace the Mess.