Five Minute Friday: Open

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This week’s prompt is:  OPEN

One of the most difficult parts about personal blogging is the constant battle to decide just how open I should be. I’m never dishonest. I say how I feel, what I feel. But there are times where I feel it’s too raw to be that open, that vulnerable. And there are times where I feel it’s inappropriate. Or even harmful.

Years ago, blogging wasn’t quite as visible as it is now. It wasn’t exactly the “make money on the side” venture that many folks have turned it into, either.

In many ways, I think those of us who blog for personal reasons are at a slight disadvantage. We write from a completely personal viewpoint. Our blogs are about ourselves.

So how open do we need to be to be successful?

As much as I’ll say I don’t really care whether or not I get comments… well, most of the time I’m excited when I don’t, perhaps a little bummed when I don’t… but really, what I’m worried about are those negative comments. I’ll write up an entry that’s honest and about something that’s deeply important to me, or something that’s deeply intimate about me…

And that one negative comment sends me crawling back into a safety hole.

That’s the danger of blogging. It’s also an important part of it. Being open, accepting that actions do have consequences. If I’m willing to share it, I need to put on the big girl panties and accept what comes in return for my words.

My life has been a series of actions where I fear the consequences, so I say nothing, or I do nothing. I get so afraid of the consequences, I don’t even get to the point where there might be consequences.

For the past several weeks, I’ve participated in a snail mail exchange via Five Minute Friday, sharing joy and blessings with other women. As far as I know, I’m the only Pagan among them. I get a lot of cards with Bible verses in response. I did get witnessed and begged to change my faith in one.

I’ve never written a blessing from my own beliefs in return. Why? Because I don’t feel open enough to do so. I’m so afraid that these women would reject the blessings from another faith that I don’t speak up.

Why do I do this? Why do I stay quiet? I have strength in my beliefs, in the centering that they give me. Is it because I know my beliefs are only mine, and that I have no right to push them on another person? Would giving blessings be such an act?

Why does the concept of being open about faith scare me so much? And why am I so bothered by others expressing theirs sometimes?

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Those who’d like to participate in Five Minute Friday will write for five minutes on the topic of the week, post it on their own blog and link up the post here.  This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.
Just write.

5 comments

  1. Robin in Virginia says:

    I don’t know what to say other than you have to be yourself and shouldn’t feel like you have to second-guess who you are or what your belief system is.

  2. Sylvia says:

    I’m sorry people feel they have the right to criticize your belief system. We all have the right to believe what we want but not the right to push our beliefs on anyone else. I for one would be more interested in understanding a believe system that is different from my own even if I did not agree with it. I might learn something. Maybe the negative comments come from individuals who are to closed to consider that they might learn something from your point of view.

  3. Dima says:

    My grandmother used to say that there are 3 things people should never mention in a social setting: age, politics and religion. It is sad that religion, an integral part of us, can cause so much dissension. I was always told not to mention my religion to others, and I never understood the point of that. I see no point in hiding something that is so integral to who I am. Don’t let others opinions/actions force you to hide something that is important to you 🙂

  4. Leonore Winterer says:

    In a perfect world, we should all be able to share our feelings, even on a matter as potentially sensible as religion, with everyone else. In the world as it is, I prefer to keep these feelings to myself – religion is still a subject that gets people up and running in heated debates if you happen to hit the wrong nerve, sadly :/

    I suppose if you’re bothered by others sharing their believes, you just don’t want to do the same thing because you think it might bother them as well. On the other hand, if you didn’t put as much thought into if it’s okay to share this kind of thing or not, it might not bother you so much that others just share without giving it too much thought…I for one wouldn’t mind receiving blessings, no matter from what kind of belief 🙂

  5. Beverly Benitez says:

    Hello Measi,

    Your post touched on several good and interesting points and you’re asking yourself great questions.

    When you asked, ‘why does the concept of being open about faith scare me so much?’ I know for myself, my faith is at the core of who I am, it is the beautiful place from which I draw my identity. Therefore sharing it is a beautifully vulnerable situation to be in, however for me, it’s the call on my life. Sharing my faith is my purpose. It’s the place where I abide from, think, and act through-it influences everything. I want to have child like faith.

    Children are trusting, open, and fearless. I’ve linked to a short video I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch where a little girl goes to that vulnerable place to share about her faith and life. I hope you enjoy it, Measi.
    http://youtu.be/z-o7nu1fTi0

    Titled: I am Second Bailee Madison

    Thank you for sharing your life and thoughs through your blog and for your sensitivity in not pushing your beliefs on others, being respectful and kind.
    – Beverly joining you from five minute Friday link up

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