I went to a meeting yesterday and one of the guys there asked me if I had blocked him from following my blog. I hadn’t. That led us to a conversation about openness and honesty.
Through all of my years in counseling people, all of the support groups I’ve facilitated, the messes and crises I’ve navigated through with clients and in my own life, I’ve learned some things.
I’ve learned that all of us have a different path in this life. We all have lessons to learn and experiences that appear in our lives to help us master each lesson. Once a particular lesson is mastered, another lesson will take its place and new experiences will follow.
Sometimes when we are open and honest with someone, they take that information and use it to their own benefit or sometimes they store it away to be used later. Sometimes, people use what they hear to measure themselves. To help them determine if they, themselves, are okay. If they are better or worse. If they are good or bad. If they are successful or not. They compare their own life and choices against someone else’s. And they make a determination. Right or wrong, they decide.
They are the judgemental people. The ones who listen closely, the ones who question and collect information. Then they decide. Or even worse, they share what they’ve gathered and decided, (even if it’s incorrect) with others. Judgemental and controlling people need to know those self-determined faults of others.. because it helps them dodge their own faults, issues and challenges. But in doing so, it keeps them stuck in their own dysfunction. They allow other people’s ‘faults’ to keep themselves up on a pedestal. Far above anyone else. Clear of the messiness of living. Rather than live their own lives, they attempt to orchestrate other people’s lives and make other’s people’s decisions. That way they don’t have to look at their own imperfect selves. Judgemental/controlling people do not share. They are not open or honest. They keep secrets…lest they, themselves would hear those same criticisms, or judgements that they so freely hand out.
All of us have an inner circle. Those people in our lives that we trust with our most private truths. The people we have determined will protect that information we share with them, thereby protecting the most delicate parts of ourselves. We all need those people in our lives.
But sometimes they betray us. They feel threatened by their own issues and use our most private truths to hurt, use or take advantage of us. In order to make themselves feel better or superior. This behavior sets them immediately outside of our inner circle. We set up boundaries to protect ourselves from them. We distance ourselves from the relationship. From what we allow them to be in our lives.
I tend to be open and honest with people. I start slowly, offering a small piece of myself to someone and then I wait to see what they do with it. If they treat it with respect and honor.. them I give them a bit more. Until a friendship is formed. But in return the other person should be equally vulnerable. If not.. beware!
All this, because someone asked me about my blog. I’m trying to balance my gift of being open and honest with the enormity of who can possibly read my blog posts. Well.. the world-wide web, otherwise know as www. is a really big place. Every day on my blog site, I get a map indicating what countries my blog posts are being read in. These stats include how many people in a given country are reading, and which blog posts they are reading. Cool huh!?
But as I’m sitting at my desk, in the privacy of my own home, writing blog posts.. it doesn’t feel like the whole world is reading my thoughts over my shoulder. But after I press “post” when I’m done writing, that’s exactly who is reading.
Consequences… that’s why I’m leery about continuing to post in such an open and honest manner. I’ve had consequences. Some amazing ones. Some unpleasant ones.
So I’m trying to weigh out how much openness and honesty is appropriate for my blog.
Should I change the course of my blog and pick a generic topic like “recipes” and leave it at that?
To me that seems unfortunate.
So until I decide… I might be more silent than usual.