Wednesday, February 15, 2012

restraint




I have had a lot of mixed emotions with the comments and emails regarding my last post on stepping away from my blog.  And as much as I love and appreciate them...I was especially affected by an email from someone I adore that said, "I LIKE your blog, but I do not LOVE your blog."  It was such an interesting perspective because for me...it is often either love or hate.  Like is such a medium word to me.  I don't want to be liked--I want to be loved.  I made the assumption that if you are a reader you must love it and if you are not you don't.  And frankly, no one has ever said something like that regarding my blog before.  

And...

I respect her so much for it.  She went on to give some feedback that I very much appreciated and while reading it for the first time I tried not to get offended so please do the same.  What she wrote had value and I wanted to share part of it although the whole email was important.

Blogs filter people (or people filter what they put on their blogs). People portray the best or the worst (raw essays) of themselves on blogs and then call it honest. I think blogging makes people ramp things up. I think even when writers are being "raw" that they are lying a little bit--they're ramping things up and we don't have other signals (voice tone, body language, tears, laughter) to balance it with. We also don't have a personal relationship with them (often) to put it all in context. And who said that raw is best? We DO NOT teach our children to be "raw" with us or their siblings. We DO teach them to speak honestly but only insomuch as it is respectful.

Nothing is more important than your family. Nothing. And your happiness is only as large as your family's happiness. If anyone feels uncomfortable (and if you want them to continue to feel safe sharing their true thoughts and emotions with you) then you need to take that seriously. That is a piece of your family speaking. You want them to grow up and blog nicely about you, and you'd want your husband to blog nicely about you too--you'd want all your extended family to always paint you as best they could. Not lie. But to be respectful. And hold back on your weaknesses. Not because you don't know about your weakness or because you don't have any, but because you are working on them. Privacy and respect are really important.

You already know this. You and I both are working to be this: "Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity." ~Margaret Nadauld
 
It was a really good slap in the face.

I have been sitting here far more concerned about the fact that I either can or can't show my real life--that it is impossible to find a balance--that it is either all or nothing...but that is simply not true.

And so--here is what I am determined to do:  I still  feel strongly that I should write about things like Rowdy's Multiple Sclerosis, but I will show restraint regarding certain personal aspects of it.  My children are growing up and I want each blog post to be something that they can read and be proud of and feel my love for them. Also, I AM more than lifestyle posts, but I do want to include them and sometimes the surface stuff is good to read and write.  I am going to continue to keep it real here, but not at the cost of my husband and kids and self.    

I don't believe this will change my blog very much because I really do think that so much of what I put out here is good and even if it is bad it is done with a good purpose--but I do believe it will refine how I write and what I should say.

PS> And just for the record...what do you LIKE or LOVE to read on here?  And heaven forbid, I am even okay if you say what you hate ;)

6 comments:

Jocelyn Christensen said...

There are some good points here!

Sue said...

I agree with much of what she said, and it sounds like you have arrived at a very good rule of thumb to use.

I, for one, am glad you are staying.

And I do like it all.

=)

Jeanelle said...

Honestly, I like that you aren't afraid to write about the bad stuff but I also like all of the pretty stuff too so basically your blog covers everything. I'm often afraid to write about the bad stuff but when I go back and read my blog, I wish I'd written more about how I was feeling on a certain day than what happened on the Bachelor the night before. I'm trying to write more about the day to day stuff because my blog is my only journal. And I have about 500+ unread items in my reader currently but yours is one of the handful I stay current on.

likeschocolate said...

I find the whole dicussion about being raw very interesting since in my opinion you have never been raw. Honest maybe, but I have never found anything you have written offensive or mean. I used to read one blog and effentually I stopped reading it because all she did was complain and sometimes she used swear words. I think people need to hear about MS and about difficulties that you have had with your son. I think it helps people to know that they are not alone. Not everything can be rainbows and puppy dogs all the time.

Cherie said...

Very interesting. That would have been a little hard to take. I like that you investigated and took what you could from it. There are some really good points.

I'm not sure I would love that type of honesty. If people don't love my blog I just don't want to know - Ha :-D

Charlotte said...

I like what you share. I find blogging cathartic. By putting it into words, I better understand my own perspective. I feel like blogs I like most (like yours) does the same thing. That means sometimes I'm feeling happy, sometimes superficial and sometimes introspective.

There are some very personal posts I've typed that I've never published. I needed to write them out (I often think better in writing than speaking), but they were for me alone.

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