In the not-so-distant past, each time I sat down to write, I was faced with the decision of whether or not to use a filter on sharing my emotions, thoughts, experiences, judgments, beliefs, and if I use one, how much truth must I filter out?
The series of anxious thoughts that flood my mind sound something like this:
Who is going to read this and do they even care what I have to say? How much personal information is “appropriate” to share with the public? If I say________, who will I offend? What will my friends and family think of me?
Can I write about experiences that have to do with other people? What potential clients might I push away for being too honest, transparent, and vulnerable? Can I swear?
Will people continue to think I am:
- too much
- too sensitive
- too vocal about painful parts or even joyful parts of my life?
As far back as I can remember, people always told me that I should write. It’s always been easiest for me to articulate my innermost personal experiences with others via writing.
It was a way for me to say what I needed to purge, without having to look someone in the eye and be vulnerable in their presence. While in school, if I had the opportunity to write about a topic and weave my personal experiences into it, I was delighted, and enjoyed being able to candidly disclose moments of my life I would normally only share with a best friend or a therapist.
I found it easy to write about my life, seeing as I was an expert on it, and felt dread when having to discuss anything less interesting.
It just dawned on me in this very moment that writing is both a way for me to hide and a way for me to be seen.
It allows me to bare some deep and dark places I’ve experienced all the while hiding behind a computer screen, or, back in the day, pen and paper. I remember being terrified to keep a journal when I was younger for fear that someone would read it and my most painful moments in life would be revealed to another human being.
Coming from a childhood experience where I was molested, bribed with food to keep quiet about it, and threatened that if I ever told, something bad would happen to my mother, you can imagine the debilitating fear I felt to open my mouth, even if just putting these things down on paper.
It was these experiences that I’d kept secret for so long are what prompted me to begin to share my inner world with the outer world.
Up until about a year and a half ago, I never believed I had the permission to publicly write (or speak) about my experiences. I knew if and when I did, that my work would come from the place in me that has always wanted to be heard and seen.
Once I began blogging, I found myself holding back less and less. I was able to release the fear of what others would think. I was able be raw and real. What I have come to realize is that I receive the most loving and thoughtful feedback from people when I am vulnerable and I let people see the tender, human side of me. This is now why I write. I desire others to be able to find their voice too.
Here are more useful questions I ask myself now that you can ask yourselves too.
What is my intention behind my words?
How do I hope they will be received?
In what way do I hope to positively impact and inspire people?
Who exactly am I writing for?
Am I being completely authentic?
Is there a way for me to go deeper and be even more truthful?
Do I need to reel in my emotions and if so, will I feel like I am holding back?
My blog is now the virtual version of my journal. I openly disclose things I once held shame around. I don’t have to hide it under my bed.
I welcome you to read it.
Brittany England is a Mind/Body Wellness Coach, Certified FasterEFT Practitioner, and former licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. She is inspired by human connection, a desire for others to feel freedom within themselves, and trusting in the divine plan the Universe has in store! She can be found at www.tapintopeace.net and tapintopeace.tumblr.com. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @tapintopeace.