Saturday, October 9, 2010

Jumping Off

This blog haunts me. I love it. I hate it. I love it again. I long for it to adequately express who I am---all of me, not just the me that feels safe to put out there, the me that won't offend anyone at all, hurt any feelings, not be inappropriate. I hate that at this moment, my life, MY LIFE, has those elements. I hate it because if it's my life, I should be able to express it any way I want to. I hate it because it makes me feel shameful, secretive. That there are vast parts of me that I'm not allowed, for whatever reason, to talk about. I'm sick of feeling shameful, at the risk of making someone else feel uncomfortable, and I'm sick of writing about my life peripherally. I don't do that well. I want to get to the heart of things. I like to be right smack dab in the middle of truth.

I think people appreciate that about me, my willingness to talk about what everyone is feeling but nobody else will say. Do you? Those readers who also blog will get what I mean when I say it's a risk. You put your guts out there and then you hope that people will read, and feel something, and mostly validate what you say and who you are. It's weird to see the reports come in every morning detailing how many people have been reading, and try to reconcile that with dwindling numbers of comments. "They hate me," I think. But, I realize that I do a lot more blog reading than I do blog commenting. I understand.

So, I need to be more real. I've been depriving myself of the cathartic value of this blog for fear of what anyone else might think. That's just not who I am. And surely, the people who really matter, who really love me, accept me and welcome me. Embrace me, even. I say that with no small measure of faith, because I'm trying to learn if those people even really exist in my life, or will one day, but I'm going to think in that direction. That I can be accepted and embraced. Truly loved, even?

Even flawed as I am.

I've been seeing a counselor. It happened by accident, really. I take one of my children to see a counselor to work out some issues, and the counselor would meet with me for a few minutes after that session each week. Turns out, I'm pretty messed up in my own right, and could use some fine tuning. Oh, it's painful!

My assignment this week is to make a list of who I am. Not what I do, but who I am. Good and bad, I need to see ME more clearly, rather than through the filters of the opinions of others. I haven't started writing yet, because I'm not sure I really know all the way what is truth about me and what is deeply-held belief about me. What kind of person am I, really? I'd like to think I'm good in my core in this way or that way, but I know I have a long way to go too in so many areas. Still, there must be a small collection of worthwhile parts of me. I just need to first, find them, and second, believe them.

Here I go.


Jeri said...

just for the record...I love your blog and I think you are an amazing woman! No, you don't know me... I don't even remember how I first found your blog, but you are on my google reader list so I read everything you post - I just never comment cause I've been content to STALK... (it feels kinda weird to comment on a "strangers" blog.. and yet, for being a stranger, I feel like I know you and your kids pretty dang well.)

Andrea said...

I think we all too often just go about our lives and think we are what others say and rarely think about who am I really. That would be so hard to do. Good to do, but hard. Good luck.
And I love that you are truthful and write things that are hard. It's refreshing to read a blog that's real.

Cynthia said...

Yes! It's okay to be who you are. I actually force myself to post unflattering stuff about myself sometimes so that I can get used to feeling comfortable with the 'uncomfortable' feeling. And other times I censor myself too for fear of offending.

And the comment thing isn't just you- I used to get lots of comments but notice that as my blog hits increased, comments decreased. It's not personal (I think), so many of my original 'blog friends' don't blog anymore and I think I'm kinda boring these days.

I'm also a bit of a mess right now. I might have to try your assignment for myself. I have a real issue with external self-esteem and needing outside validation.

Saint Holiday said...

I love you no matter what. You know what's right.

YogaNana said...

Jen, if you sit quietly for just a minute or two each morning and say, "I want to truly know myself, good and bad," things will start popping up, insights into yourself.

You may wonder how I know this.


Anonymous said...

appropriate that the music playing was "Say What you need to say"

Alejandra said...

I read this post yesterday and I've been really thinking about it. It's hard for me to understand how you can't see how wonderful you ALREADY are... I know nobody is perfect and we can all improve and become better people. But you are such an example to so many. I mean, you are a wonderful YM teacher, piano teacher, student, amazing mom, great baker, funny, hard working, giving, beautiful inside and out. I always learn from you and have been inspired by your example in so many ways. I can go on, but I have to go watch some kids :). I love you and I hope you can love yourself the way you deserve!

isshou ni said...

Ask God. He sees us clearer than we can ever see ourselves.

Annette Lyon said...

Oh, how I understand. My blog (pretty much by necessity) while honest, is very much a peripheral view of my life. I can't go into the nitty gritty. Sometimes I wish I could.

I need a counselor and have known that for a long time. I keep putting it off because I've been too busy. Yeah, I'm smart. :P

Anonymous said...

I have read your blog for awhile now and appreciate your candor and authenticity. I think you speak of many of the struggles that women, wives and mothers experience, especially in the gospel, though not exclusively. Often your thoughts and points stick with me or and I will ponder them for days. I appreciate the thought and effort and voice you put into mothering, gardening, gospel ideals and practically trying to get by. I also appreciate you sharing your struggles. It is one thing to open up about the good stuff, but the deep & painful stuff is something else-this is one of my biggest struggles with church members-so many put on that they have the perfect marriage, perfect kids, perfect life. None of that I can relate to. Even though I don't know you, I care about you! Your blog is a source of inspiration and strength in my life and I hope you know that it is appreciated even when people don't make comments (this is my first).

mindyluwho said...

Your blog is one of the first I read, although I rarely comment. I see a lot of myself in you. I think it's much of the same thing though, in commenting, I might put too much of myself out there and so I keep my thoughts to myself, but appreciate very much the insight you give to me through your posts. I guess that's not too fair so will try to comment more often...but no promises!