Every now & then see posts on Facebook like this one:
I have a lot of friends who are very private people. (And a few who are not so private.) So I get it. But then one day someone asked me what I would do when the “attention” stopped. I’ve thought about that a lot. “Attention?!” is that what it is? Is that what YOU think it is?
…Not everyone shares their grief journey like I choose too. And not all that do are as transparent as I try to be. I realize my openness opens me to a vulnerability with those who will judge me for doing so. Here are my thoughts:
- Before I post, I always try to pray first. I pray my intentions are pleasing to God & that I am allowing Him to use me.
- I don’t share for attention. I never try to solicit pity or come across as “poor me.” It isn’t about attention. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, glamorous about this. It is painful, heartbreaking, work.
- Believe it or not – I don’t share EVERYthing! There is a lot I choose NOT to share – Like the other day when I peed on myself in Walmart. Yes, I peed on myself. Not just a tinkle – I literally had pee running down my leg. I didn’t post a quick selfie of me in the paper goods aisle with pee running down my leg. Nor do I post every night I am up crying or about every fight I have with my husband or all the ways my day totally sucked! I try to be transparent & honest – sharing *some* of the good, the bad, and the ugly – along with the crazy things my kids say, their cute pictures, some of their accomplishments & the fun we have together. But I certainly don’t share EVERYthing!
- I do have some boundaries. More than anything I try not to post negative or hurtful things. I see people posting or sharing things that are mean, passive aggressive, vulgar, rude, hurtful, & the list goes on . . . And it is deemed acceptable. Personally, this is way worse than my honesty about MY life.
- I share because I don’t want one ounce of this pain I bear to be wasted. (Okay, and sometimes I share just to vent!) If opening myself up in this time of weakness helps one person – it was worth the judgement of 100.
- Sometimes when I share it is as much for ME as it is for someone else. When one of you encourages me on a hard day – it was worth the 10 rude comments the day before. I don’t need your attention, but I sure do appreciate you ENCOURAGEMENT & truly cherish your PRAYERS! Some days are better than others. Some days start good & end horribly. Some days start horribly & end wonderfully. And most days – the emotions and memories and sorrow and emptiness and regret and guilt – it is all spins our of my control & I am secretly trying so very hard to just hold it together & not fall apart. Somedays my attempts are successful, but there are really bad days I am a big mess. It’s those days that I am honest about & need a little cyber hug.
- I am not a fake person & I try to be as authentic as I can (on & offline). If I am mad – you know it. If I am sad – you know it. There isn’t a passive aggressive bone in my body. Sharing my ups & downs & the crazy life we live is freeing. And I truly believe that my honesty is freeing to others as well. I despise the “perfect life/perfect people” perception that is perceived by online sharing. Nope – I am totally imperfect, so is my husband, and so are our kids. We make fools of ourselves, we fight, we say things deemed as inappropriate, we cuss, we pee on ourselves (the boys pee on each other), I rarely have my hair or make-up done, the kids start off with clothes on but by mid afternoon at least 1/2 of them aren’t fully dressed, our house is messy 98% of the time… We sometimes have messy lives & I’m okay with letting other people know the “real me” – this life we live is not perfect.
- Sometimes it is just funny! I try not to embarrass my family, but sometimes the things they do & say is just too good not to share. Sometimes I have to laugh to keep from crying and I am totally okay with others laughing right there with me.
Sharing isn’t for everyone, but in my sharing I truly believe I have helped others & made myself approachable for those who need someone to listen or offer encouragement. And more than rude, judgmental comments I have found so much grace from those who continue to “follow me” on this journey – laughing & crying together along the way.