We have no idea the power that our words hold.
A few months ago, in the whirlwind of our dance recital/piano/academic testing/prep for NYC we had house guests. Neither my head nor my heart was prepared for the conversations that would occur during what I anticipated would be a visit of laughter and easy-with-you moments. It was not that visit.
Life is like that though, isn't it? Vastly different then we sometimes expect. Stretching and growing us. Bringing laughter and, in an instant, breaking our hearts.
In a year when it constantly felt like brave was the word of the week, I allowed myself to exhale when that car pulled into the driveway. I thought I was safe. My guard went down and my heart opened.
I refuse to say that allowing people in is wrong. Loving others is one of the greatest gifts we've been given. I hold fast to this. I must.
You should too.
Learning to love others without judgement grants us an opportunity to share our stories...our hearts.
It can also wound us deeply.
I've not been online much since May. I could blame this on our schedule, chronic disease, even travel. I could say that we were out living. All of that would be truth.
Honestly though? I've been offline mostly because I allowed myself to fall prey to one's words. Words delivered as truth, not with humility but rather quite the opposite. Words I've responded to in the long days of summer.
Subjects nestled in my heart. Ones I carry with me, pray over, count as not just friends but as pieces of me.
Predicates that do in our world. Our world.
I was told that bloggers are online only to talk about themselves. That they are the most narcissistic of peoples. I was shocked and almost without words.
My best friend was a blogger. Although she'd sarcastically quip that it was about her, the life she lived proclaimed the opposite. It was always about Him, about everyone but her. That girl had the biggest heart for people...As I sat there, almost without words, my heart screaming in protest, what escaped my mouth was quiet. I'm positive my face didn't betray me. "As a whole, we're a selfish people." It was all I could utter.
Yes, narcissistic bloggers exist.
Yes, we live in a selfish world, full of me and I and so very little of you.
But these women and men that I read, follow, text with, sometimes even hug? They are REAL.
Flawed? Yes. But they would be the first ones to proclaim as much.
The bloggers I know do so to reach out, to connect, unite, encourage. They help others to learn and grow and to feel less alone. Their blogs are as varied as their lives; from food to motherhood, with religion and disease mixed in.
These brave souls share their stories. Without embellishment, with as much of the chaos as order. Lives lived wide open, without apology. I don't see selfish, I see honest. Hearts opened as living gets processed, shared.
I can see how, from an inexperienced viewpoint, this blogging world may contain elements of narcissism. But, from the inside I see are lives coming together, healing taking place, friendships being forged. I see sisters lifting each other up in word and deed when one falls to her knees.
I know that our words can make us immortal. When we've gone, they are the reminder of the weight we have in this world. A piece of us others can hold to in the moments when our voices no longer fill the silence.
Our words, our thoughts and musing and memories are reminders of the life we've been given...the person we were and who we hope to be. The family we love and the ways they grow. A scrapbook, of sorts, for a life lived, snapshots of moments we would rather forget, or those we'd cling to forever.
Our stories? They matter.