It’s been a long while since I’ve shared anything in this space. I haven’t forgotten about writing though; actually, it’s been quite the opposite.
There’s been a lot I’ve wanted to share, but could never put it into words the way I wanted to. I started writing so many posts over the past 6 months, but ultimately would never finish them.
I felt a lot of guilt for not posting anything for so long. The pressure I put on myself to write inevitably only pushed me further away from writing. At some point though, I finally gave myself permission to take the pressure off and just focus on living, without the need to share it in eloquently written posts.
The truth is, sometimes there are periods of life when silence is best. This is totally counter-cultural in our world today in which we can literally share moments of our lives in real time with just a few taps on our smart devices. But sometimes what we’re going through can be so complex, so fragmentary, and so deeply personal that we instinctively know it’s not time to let others in. And so I’ve respected that instinct.
2018 turned out to be a year of total upheaval in my inner world. I’ve wrestled intensely with questions about who I am, what I believe, who God is, and what gives life meaning. The process has been messy, relentless, and exhausting. And quite frankly, I’ve not come away with any great, share-worthy conclusions that have inspired me to write about them.
Instead, the biggest barrier I’ve had to face is shame. When you find yourself questioning so much about yourself, shame steps in and tells you it’s better to isolate yourself from others. Shame tells you, “They won’t understand.” Shame says, “They’d be so disappointed in you.” So, for part of the time, shame took away my voice. I was afraid to be misunderstood and misjudged. With help, I’ve overcome that shame and learned to accept this process I’m going through.
Where am I now? Still figuring out my way, still fighting depression some days, and still hoping for calmer days ahead internally. I don’t really know what my purpose in life is. I don’t know what I believe beyond believing that God is love. I used to hate feeling like all my answers were slipping away from me; now, I think it’s okay to not have answers. Not having answers leaves a lot more room for empathy and compassion, which are much more important and life-changing anyway.
My greatest advice through all of this: When life gives you inner chaos you never sought out or asked for, give genuineness back. No matter what fear or shame you may face, choose to still tell your story. And if you can’t, find the support you need to help you tell it.
Going forward, I don’t know with what frequency I’ll be posting, but I do know that whatever I decide to share in the future, it will be genuine. It will be true to my experience and true to myself. To be anything less than that is simply not worth sharing.