I often think about topics to blog about: things that pop into my head, usually with a moment of clarity in which I can express all of my thoughts well and without much effort. Then I think to myself, ‘Do I really want to write this? Do I really want to put something like this out there for everyone to see and judge me by?” And then, just like that, doubt fills my mind and all clarity is gone. There’s a quote that I’ve seen several times…just sort of floating through my Facebook and Pinterest feeds:
My first reaction to seeing this was something along the lines of “Bologna! Lack of communication can cause your intentions to be misjudged quicker than anything!” Now hear me out, I know that yes, there is a time to talk and a time to be silent (thanks Ecclesiastes!). But I think we are often TOO silent about the things we should be talking about. We love to talk about some things, but other things should be avoided at all costs.
Blogging, for me, is very much like this. Without ever seeing this quote before the last week or so I somehow made it my ‘blogging mantra’. If I don’t say it, people can’t judge it. They can’t argue with me, or think less of me because of something I never actually posted, right? The same applies to social media. If I ‘share’ this article on a controversial topic someone will have something unpleasant to say. Someone will wonder why they are even Facebook friends with me in the first place. Someone simply does not want to hear what I have to say on the subject.
Who is this someone? (Spoken in the voice of Olaf when he says ‘Who is this Hans?’)
Who is it that I am so scared of that I cannot say what I want on a social media platform or my own blog?
This someone is YOU. Have you ever told me my writing is awful? Nope. That I can’t communicate my thoughts clearly? Nope. Have you even heard any of these ideas that I refuse to post for everyone to see? Probably not.
But I have done all of these things for you. I’ve told myself that these things must surely be believed by anyone reading this blog.
And just like that, my “silence can never be misquoted”. Well…
…now it can. I’m posting this little look inside my head, not to make a big statement on our contemporary culture, or to give criticism and constructive ideas on how we can change. I’m not posting it so that everyone will say, “Wow! That Ashley girl sure knows how to ramble on about nothing for a whole blog post!” <– See, there I go reading your thoughts before you read my post! (It’s a bad habit, I know).
I am doing it for me. Because the fear of man has ruled my mind (and my blog/Facebook/etc.) for too long. It is truly difficult for me to speak and write about the things in my head. I often cast it off as a lack of ability to communicate or to my being an introvert. But it is often simply the effect of fear. The concise version of this blog post is basically, “I am too dadgum scared to just be me in a world where everything we do is either worthy of a ‘like’, a re-tweet, a re-gram or whatever deems it worthy to exist in the vast expanse known as the internet…or it seems to be nothing at all.”
In times of anger, frustration, and the temptation to be flat out rude- may I always remain silent. But may I never be so fearful of being misquoted, thought poorly of, or argued with that I never say anything at all.
“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” -Proverbs 29:25
“for they loved human praise more than praise from God.” -John 12:43