Why Write?


I spent 45 minutes tonight staring at my computer and trying to figure out what my motives are in writing and publishing the posts on this blog. I argued back and forth in my head, selfishness vs nobility. It finally occurred to me that it’s neither. I’m not out to play the devil; I don’t want to point fingers and shift blame. I’m not out to shock people. I’m no angel either; this is not the telling of a completed and successful journey. I’m no where near ready to tell people how to navigate this crap.

The truth is, this blog is the prettied up musings I would be writing anyway. The point is that I got sick and tired of being who I was and wanted to become somebody better and, since I didn’t know what that actually meant, I started thinking out loud. What does ‘better mean?’ Who’s deciding? How will I know when I’ve gotten there? What’s the ‘right way’ to do this?

Why post it? Lord, why not? Look, people have this idea that they are alone; that they are the only one who think thoughts like they do, or have feelings like theirs. Isn’t it such a relief to realize you are not, in fact, alone at all? People are messed up. Maybe if we all just started telling each other about it instead of pretending to be perfect then we all wouldn’t be so messed up. Maybe we could all start getting better.

I post these things because sometimes I’m afraid I’m all alone. I’m scared that I’m the only one like this, that only my head thinks in this way. I want to know if anyone else is feeling the same. I begin to ask. I tell someone how I’m feeling and see if they can understand what I mean. Everyone’s amazed I’m talking about it, they thought they were the only one.

Why are we doing this to ourselves, to each other?

Some of the things I post here remind me of how much damage I’ve done throughout my life. Sharing experiences of addiction brings to mind the havoc that era caused for my family and friends; it makes me remember the ugly person that I used to be, that I’m capable of being. Other times, I don’t feel up to the level of exposure that I bring upon myself. When the things I write bring to the surface my current failings and weaknesses, I’d rather keep it to myself.

Sometimes the things I post about my past can make people uncomfortable. If you’ve known me a long time and are suddenly learning these ‘terrible secrets’ about me, it can be discomforting. Should you say something? Can you talk about it or should you pretend you don’t really know? Then again, I would imagine that being one of the actors in the stories from my past would be equally difficult. Am I mad at you? Am I blaming you? Should you have done something differently?

So why write?

When I write and when I share it with people who understand, I feel soothed. When I discover that I am not the only one with this sin or that wickedness, it’s easier to forgive myself for failing in the first place. When I realize that there are others plagued by the same questions as me, suddenly I have permission to ask, which is the only way to get answers.

And sometimes the answers to the questions I have today are hidden in my past. It’s important if I’m going to continue to grow, and if I’m going to stop making the same mistakes, to allow myself to heal from the inside out. Writing about the past is the only way I know how to deal with it. If I don’t deal with my past, my future is going to look a whole lot like right now and that’s just not good enough for me.

Maybe I’m idealistic in my certainty that if I can just keep being transparent long enough, some good will come of it. I might be completely naïve to think that if I can bare myself to you than maybe you’ll share yourself with another and we might all begin to have these conversations that, for now, are still cycling endlessly in my head.

I’d like to tell you that my intentions are entirely community minded and focused on the well-being of all, but it’s just not true. The truth is, I want to be well. I want to be whole, I want to be valued, I want to be free and I don’t want to be alone. I definitely don’t want to be alone.

And so I write.

We want to tell you that you’re beautiful and that we love you. And that no matter who you are, or what you believe, or what you do, or what you’ve done, that God loves you too.”  – Flyleaf, Live in Concert

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2 thoughts on “Why Write?

  1. John

    Life is a journey. What I have learned as a participant and a parent is that we can all share our stories, but ultimately we will all make our own mistakes, have misgivings and misfortune and learn from the experiences. When I tell my stories, share my experiences it’s more to reaffirm that you are not alone or the first. When my children feel they have failed me or let me down, I pull a related story out of my hat to let them know that I have been there, done that and I survived and moved on. That’s the best we can do.

    Reply

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