I have written on more than one occasion recently about how chaotic, frustrating, and discouraged I’ve been in the past months. I have talked about how I’ve sat down to sort out the mess in my head only to find myself deleting dozens of half-written posts. I could never seem to finish anything, getting sidetracked by feelings and emotions and the urge to lash out in bitterness and hatefulness online. I was in a dark place and just couldn’t seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Now, this is not another “woe is me” post where I ask you to bear with me and understand that things are tough in my life. Nope. Instead, I want to let you know that in the midst of this all, I realized something and it’s all thanks to a late-night road trip conversation with my husband. (He’s really great at hashing things out with me.) 🙂
I was talking to him and telling him how frustrated I had been that I just couldn’t seem to write. When he asked me to explain what it was that seemed to hang me up, I told him that there had been situations and events in the past that I wanted to address, but felt like my hands were tied. There were people who had been hateful to me and I wanted to be hateful back. There were painful things from my past that had come around again and opened my eyes, but I still have ties to some of the names in those stories, and I didn’t want to drudge up the past for the sake of content. Basically, I was hitting a roadblock. As we continued to chat, he told me that based on the things that I had said, the roadblock was probably the best thing for me, and that God had put it there not to hinder, but to protect me. It forced me to slow down, rethink, and keep my mouth shut. These roadblocks serve a purpose, even though we see them as annoying and frustrating. The wheels began to spin in my head.
My roadblock had been bitterness, shame, and hatefulness. I couldn’t write without letting those emotions fuel my thoughts and actions, and it caused dozens of abandoned posts because of it. I was not blind to my emotions, but I didn’t realize they were setting the stage for some serious destruction if I let them bleed into my writing. As I sat there and thought about this, I was not only thankful that I had managed to abandon most of the posts that needed to probably be deleted anyway, but I wondered where I go from here? What does this mean for me and the way I write? How much is too much when it comes to sharing online?
I know that being aware of issues like this is a lot like getting over an addiction…admitting it is the first step. The next step is to figure out what I need to do to make the best of this.
As a public writer, it’s easy to say whatever, whenever, and think that there are no consequences in that. False. We need to use our words sparingly and appropriately, making sure that they are not hate-filled and fueled. This doesn’t just apply to the blogging world, this applies to every post we make on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. It’s important to remember that our online “selves” should walk hand-in-hand with our actual “self”. In other words, who we are online should be the same as who we are in real life. It’s so easy to say one thing and do another thinking that no one is the wiser, but this is total delusion. There is always someone who is able to read between the lines or knows the truth. You cannot hide your true thoughts and feelings just because you’re online. I learned that I cannot hide the heat behind my words just because I was witting them down. That’s why I learned to delete even when I felt justified.
I write because it’s a great tool for me to sort out my thoughts and heal the hurt. But sometimes I subconsciously refuse to let go of things, and that bitterness will follow me into everything I say without even realizing it. I need to take more time in understanding why I say things and how I say things. Again, it seems obvious and simple, but it’s so easily forgotten. Will I still get myself in trouble with my words? Most likely yes because I’m human. But I want to make a conscious effort to recognize my heart in my words, because as the Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; Who can understand it?” (Jer 17:9) So, all that to say, as frustrated as I’ve been these past several weeks with the inability to hash-out thoughts online, I am thankful for the roadblock God put in place for me, and I am thankful to my husband for pointing it out. It’s kind of like getting an intervention. 🙂