What a weird feeling….now that I have a forum to release the thoughts in my mind…I find reservations. There are a lot of things in my mind that I’ve previously not been afraid to share with folks and many times with perfect strangers. Personal stories shared on here will no doubt touch others and hit some heavy in the heart. That’s certainly part of the expectation. Another part of the expectation is that some of my articles are going to include some personal details about my life and the experiences in my life. I mean c’mon, when I’m touched by something totally awesome or hilarious I’m going to spread that around. An example could be how my mistake baked oatmeal one evening turned into a makeshift healthy version of bread pudding –deliciouuuuuus (singing voice there). Or perhaps how I actually had a conversation with some gentlemen at the gym tonight about my incredibly flat chest as we pointed out that my heart rate monitor stuck our further than my sorry excuse for boobies (I’m taking donations by the way).
Talking about those things are easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. Everybody wins…except my chest. What about the stories where there have been some challenges that just miiiiiiiiight include some details about some shitty ass behaviors of others…and my own of course. Yeah those. That’s what has been slightly weighing on my mind this week. Is it really ok to “blog” about this crap? Then I remembered a quote that a dear friend of mine sent me on FB a couple months ago. She was quoting Anne Lamott. Anne Lamott said, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” Isn’t that so incredibly true and isn’t it just the thing I needed to hear? Let’s put things into perspective. It wouldn’t be fair if individuals couldn’t express the details of their troubles simply to protect the image of the individuals who were part of the reasons behind those troubles. That is in fact at least one piece of the coping process isn’t it….sharing your troubles and getting some help from others? It is for me!
I think there is a fine line between tactfully keeping some things private and owing nothing to those whose poor choices and behaviors inflict challenges on you. I think this is what Anne Lamott was getting at. If there is something that happened to you and sharing the story along with the details is what you need to do….do it. If it’s something that bothers those who were involved…it’s something they have to accept. In the end the true mechanism of character is how they handle that. Do they make excuses, point the finger, lie, deflect, etc? If so, they’ll behave badly again. It’s only a matter of time. If they in turn act humbly, reflect, learn, adapt, and grow we can expect that they have a good heart and have merely made some mistakes, as we all do. With that I would presume that they respect the coping mechanisms that the story teller needed.
So considering that short snippet of where my head has been I’m going to move forward keeping Ann Lamott’s good words in mind along with my own expectations that the character of others is neither my responsibility nor within my circle of control. I’m also going dance around that fine line between privacy and coping mechanisms with the goal in mind that in helping myself I in turn will help others as well.
I own everything that happened to me and so do you. What stories have you been keeping in?
May 30, 2013 at 9:47 pm
this is a brave post. you cast a brilliant light on something so many of us struggle with. thank you. tony
June 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm
Melanie, I just want to encourage you! One thing I am confident of is that we all need to share our struggles with one another because no one has a “perfect” life and when we do share we allow others to share and they can begin healing or help us too. You are an amazing woman and so proud to call you friend!
June 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm
Thanks girlfriend! That’s what it’s all about!