Thursday, June 25, 2015

Vulnerability & Blogging: Thank You

Heart hurt

I’ve been reading a few blogs where the writer has talked about vulnerability and how they had to make the choice as to whether or not they were brave enough for it. My favorite bloggers are the ones who are honest and real about their lives. It’s evident in their writing because there are no fake undertones and they write about the good, the bad, and the ugly that is normal life for all of us. They make themselves vulnerable—and I am sincerely grateful for that.

Thanks to social media, we present our best selves, filtered pictures, and life’s perfect little moments. We all know that we also have plenty of moments that are messy, chaotic, and dysfunctional—but most people don’t share those moments because there isn’t always the need to “hang it all out on the line”. But many of us who blog do so for a specific purpose—writing for connection. I know I’ve breathed a sigh of relief when I read about someone else’s life that is just as crazy and overwhelming as mine feels to me.

For the most part, I have found that making myself vulnerable through my writing and on this blog has been rewarding for me. It is incredibly rewarding to hear comments along the lines of “me too” in response to a heartfelt blog post. It makes me feel less alone in the experience and in the struggle.

This connection is what fuels the fire—the ability to help others feel understood, to put into words what others may be feeling but cannot describe, to offer hope, and most importantly to reach the heart of others to find the common themes of our existence. At least that’s what fuels my fire.

Vulnerability is a choice and it opens us up to potential hurt. It’s a risk we take and if you’re a blogger like me, every time we hit that publish button we wonder if anyone will connect with the words we poured our hearts into. If the readers will be able to get insight into our “pain” or “experience” even though they have never experienced it. Sometimes we get comments and other times we’re left in our insecurity thinking that no one understood what we were trying to convey.

We all have our pains, heartbreaks and struggles. Just because one person’s pain is not another’s does not lessen that of either one. All pain is valid. It’s my experience and my truth. It’s your experience and your truth. We should use this for connection instead of criticism.

While we may not fully understand the pain of another, we can learn empathy for another’s pain by stepping into their world through each word, sentence, paragraph and post that they share. And that’s how we find connection.

If the world lacked those who would make themselves vulnerable, can you imagine how disconnected we would all be? Being vulnerable takes courage, but that doesn’t mean that those of us who bare our souls to the world are bullet-proof.

I’m not really sure if I’m getting my thoughts across, but I guess what I’m saying is that we need to be respectful of each other. We have the opportunity to see into the souls of others through blogging and that’s a privilege that we have been given due to the courage of the writer.

Thank you to those who have lifted me up through your words (whether blogger or reader), those of you who have shown me that I am not alone in my struggles, and those of you, who even though you don’t understand, have simply said “I hear you”. Thank you for being vulnerable and respecting mine.

8 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post! I know I am really struggling right now, and I appreciate every little comment with a virtual hug or reminder that it will get better. Intellectually I know it will get better, but it's nice to feel that other people have been there, can relate, and made it out the other side. Big hugs! :-)

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  2. Thank YOU for your vulnerability and willingness to open up about your experiences and struggles. It's nice to know we're not alone.




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  3. I also prefer honesty. I just can't read blogs that come across as so perfect, whether they mean to or not. It makes me feel like such a worse failure than I already feel like a lot of days. I want to hear happy stories and fun stories, but I also want to hear that we all get frustrated, down, sick, and have kids that do imperfect things. Lol I think it is good "therapy" to spill the depths of our hearts when we need to, but I completely understand what you mean about the vulnerability of it all.

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  4. I have read your blog for a long time, and probably have only commented once or twice. There is a vast age difference between us and my kids are 35 and 33. I still remember being a new mom and the uncertainty I had. Thankfully, I did not have the postpartum depression that you've had.

    I appreciate your vulnerability. I did a weight loss maintenance blog for three years, and I will admit that I was very guarded in what I said. I was lucky that my commenters were supportive and nice. I also know that sometimes people use the internet to be very mean.

    You are an excellent writer. You could most likely write novels, but you could probably also write children's books too. Stay as sweet as you are, and I wish the very best for you and your family. :)

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  5. Facebook pics of "perfect lives" are fine, but don't keep me "coming back". Your honesty, your resilience, and your writing ability keep me coming back. Don't doubt yourself Alissa, your blog is great.

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  6. I appreciate how honest and open you are.

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  7. Vulnerability perhaps from your perspective, but it is "real life" from your reader's perspective. Society screams to us enough how perfect our lives (marriage, kids, home, bodies) should be - but bloggers (not all) are often the reasonable voice to many who are reaching out for information/advice/etc. on different subjects we encounter on this journey.

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