For the past three weeks I have experimented with using my name as part of the title of my blog (Tracy Gets Angry, Tracy Gets Sick, Tracy Lets Go) And as I stood in the shower this morning, thinking about what I would write about today and whether I should go back to a “regular” title, I realized that I’m beginning to worry that writing this blog is way too self-indulgent and that putting my name in the title is just an indication of the fact maybe that I’m going too far and, perhaps, getting way too personal. Even though this blog is, in essence, my personal “Process of Illumination” and incredibly therapeutic for me, I have to admit that my dear friend made a valid point when she emailed me to say:
“Just curious why it is people find it important to share their lives with so many. Wasn’t a ‘Blog’, once called a ‘diary’…and it was personal?…it’s just that it seems sooo many people think they are writers now. I enjoy your blogs, don’t get me wrong…”
I won’t lie…that comment struck a nerve and I responded somewhat defensively, at first. But, because of that, I realized that I must already be feeling vulnerable about what I’m writing and why I’m writing it. Once again, the universe had found a way to reflect my own doubts and fears back to me, giving me an opportunity to step out of my own self-judgement and take a closer look at the truth of what I’m doing.
And so I thought about my motives for writing this blog and found that, underneath it all, I have a deep need to be “seen” and that, right now, telling the truth about my life seems to be the best way to do that. Like many people, there is a big part of me that carries a burden of shame and who once felt she had to “hide” her true self for fear of being judged or, even worse, rejected. However (and thankfully) I’m finally at the place on my journey where carrying that shame around is no longer an option. I’ve grown to love myself enough to know that I must relieve myself of that burden. Talking about every significant encounter or insight may be self-indulgent, indeed, but, for me, it is also a very necessary act of Self-Love. Knowing that I’m accountable to my readers as well as myself has actually helped me to practice being more honest about my feelings and has changed how I handle situations that are outside of my comfort zone. I’m being forced to find ways to create “safety” for myself so that I can live my life more authentically. At the same time, I’m not interested in “outing” anyone else or hurting them unnecessarily, which is why I try hard not be be specific about the other people I’m writing about. I realize that most situations I share will be easily recognizable to those involved but I make every possible effort to examine all perspectives, own my part in the given situation and refrain from laying blame or passing judgement. The point of this blog is not to show that I’m “right” but rather to share what I’ve learned from the experience. I value my commitment to self-examination very highly and my hope is to show others that, even though it takes tremendous courage and can be a painful process, it has incredible, transformational benefits.
Which brings me to the story of the man I met.
This past Friday, I was having coffee here, at Rooster, with a girlfriend. Just before she left, our conversation shifted to the topic of dating and I expressed my resistance to meeting anyone new. Apart from the fact that I just don’t feel ready, I said, I’m also not the kind of person who would be interested in making a “point” of dating such as via the internet, or attending specific events etc… I’m much more comfortable with chance, in-person meetings and proceeded to describe the ideal “safe” scenario for meeting someone new. Apart from being introduced through a friend or at a party etc, I said I’d be most comfortable, for instance, if I were sitting in Rooster, writing my blog one day and happened to strike up a conversation with someone sitting nearby. We’d talk and perhaps bump into each other a few more times over a period and maybe then I’d feel “safe” enough that I might want to go on a “date”, assuming I was even attracted to this person. As I heard myself saying this, it occurred to me that, up until now, it had been easy for me to describe how I didn’t want to meet a man, but I had never really let myself explore how I did want to meet one.
Clearly, the universe must have heard me because, not 5 minutes later, that exact scenario unfolded. My friend left and, as I got settled in a new chair to do some work, a man sat down next to me. I recognized him as someone I had seen there before and he asked me what I was working on. From there, we went on to have a very lively and enjoyable conversation. Because he is an english teacher and a writer, he was very interested in my work and my blog. I found him to be intelligent, engaging and attentive. We exchanged cards and agreed to meet again today, at Rooster, just before I would normally arrive to write my blog.
Since that meeting, a bunch of things became clearer. The first thing was how quickly I am able to manifest things when I lower my resistance long enough to focus on what I want. The second thing was that my resistance to meeting someone new has a lot to do with my tendency to (a) assume that most men who talk to women are doing so because they are interested in dating/sleeping with them, (b) feel immediately responsible for not hurting them because of (a) and (c) be suspicious of any stranger who shows an interest in me through overt compliments about my appearance (because I have had that experience a lot lately and it creeps me out, but that’s another story)
I came to understand (a) and (b) because one of my first thoughts about our synchronistic meeting was that I wanted to write about it. However, partially believing that my assumption (a) was correct, my corresponding tendency to feel responsible for him had kicked in automatically. Therefore, not knowing much about him or his intentions, I did not feel free to write honestly about that experience. But, as I “downloaded” my inspiration for today’s blog in the shower this morning, I knew the answer to my dilemma was the same as with everything else associated with this blog. I needed to be authentic, no matter what.
So, I met my new friend for coffee earlier and, as the universe would have it, he offered me the perfect segue by commenting on how surprised he was that my blog was so personal. I went on to tell him everything about what I discovered since our last meeting (as I have written here), and not surprisingly, he completely understood and I was grateful to hear his honest perspective. By taking the risk to say what was true for me, I was able to take charge of the situation and reduce my own anxiety about it. But more importantly the “wise voice” in me that said “Don’t assume anything, let it play out and honor your commitment to show up as authentically as possible” was completely validated. It all turned out well and the proof is that I am here, writing about it, with my new friend’s blessing and encouragement.
Having said all this, part of my “authentic experience” is opening up to whatever feedback you may have. I realize that some of you may not relate or agree with what I share or how I share it and I would be horrified to know that I was seriously offending anyone so please feel free to let me know what you think or if I have crossed a line by divulging too much, or whatever the case may be. It will only serve to assist me further in my “Process of Illumination”.
All blessings to you….