I usually sit down to write a post with at least a vague notion of what I want to say. It is important to me that my words carry my truth. My hope is that the idea I am trying to express will in some way serve the purpose of supporting and helping others. Today, I wrestle with an additional story that I tell myself: “Somehow this blog post has to be as good as, or better than, the last.” My motive moves from “showing up in service to others” to a more self-centered quest for validation. And, seeking that attention is the beginning of abandoning honesty.
There is another intention, still. I have always had this fantasy of writing a book that leaves an impact on people and their lives. Posting on my blog gives me the opportunity to practice the writing process. A part of me wants to be perceived as this altruistic blogger delivering his experiences with a selfless sense of community. In reality, I rarely do things unless there is something in it for me. (Do you still trust me as your therapist?) Which highlights the even deeper underlying truth, that the actions I take toward caring for you more often than not harbor an element of self-care as well. I believe it is healthy to take care of myself while I commit to the growth and nurturance of others. Yet, you could still call this motive selfish and be right in your estimation.
At some point in my life, I learned the lesson that it is important for me to take a look at my motives. While I tend to overanalyze, the goal of this tactic is not to scrutinize myself to the point of debilitation. The delicate desire here is one of rigorous honesty. Only when I pinpoint my true motivation can I earnestly defend who I am and what I give to you. I can then make a fully informed decision to move forward or take no action at all. In those moments, I avoid the shame of acting in direct conflict with my principles. The less shame I feel, the less likely I am to conceal it. The fewer things I have to hide, the more likely I am to show up real. When I am honest with you, nothing stands between us.
Truth be told, I have an irrational fear of each post not topping the last one. Yes, it is also true that I aspire to someday be a writer. But the standout fact is that I want you to be able to relate to me. If you identify with what I write, then you might feel less alone. There is a chance you will read one of my posts and think: “What a relief! I thought I was the only one.” That is the reason I write what I write today. So you can relate to my process and my choice to write in the first place. In order to do that I had to face my fear, own where I am self-centered, and move forward in hope of making a connection. Maybe, as a result, you also think about your fears or how you are selfish and open up to someone near you anyway. So, go ahead and tell them what is caught in your throat! Make that part of you known. Finally kiss him. Flash that smile. Reach out and hold her hand…