Lately, I've been thinking a lot about writing. I've been thinking about the power of words - of being able to witness and share in the journeys of others as well as the importance of documenting my own story. Over the past two years, I've written about my own experiences of babyloss. And I've also compiled quite a lengthy list of blogs that I read regularly.
I read the blogs of people I know well, the blogs of people I know a little, the blogs of people I'd like to know better, and the blogs of total strangers who - other than a statistic on their site meter - will probably never even know it's me who's been there.
As I read, I'm aware of how I'm often simply a silent observer. It feels a bit strange to me to be peering into the lives of people and not making myself known. Most of the time, I want to comment, but I get held back by a lack of time or energy or by being so tired that I'm not able to string together a coherent thought. Sometimes, the authors' posts are so beautiful, moving, or inspiring that I feel like my own words are flimsy and pale in comparison. Often, a post has gotten me all stirred up inside, but I haven't really had time to process and connect with my reaction, and therefore, I'm not really sure what response to type. Sometimes I feel too shy or insecure to make myself known to a stranger.
Just this past week, the amazing Mel, author of the Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters blog, wrote about how she sees blogging as a conversation. She wrote about the importance of honoring the stories that are told and of acknowledging that a voice is heard. She wrote about listening. Mel writes:
Even when you don't have something to add, when you can't find the words to respond, I hope this year that it becomes socially acceptable and understood to simply write the phrase "I am listening" and post the comment under your name. What does this do? Sometimes, it helps to know that your words were read. That someone didn't click on and click off of your blog without processing your words. Sometimes it simply feels good to know that you're not alone, even if the other person doesn't have a solution or deep comfort. Some people may think this is lazy; a comment not worth the effort to leave or receive. But I think it can be very powerful to know that someone listened even if they have nothing to respond with in return.
I couldn't agree more.
So, I'm challenging myself to "delurk" - to make myself known - to offer a few words, even if they seem inadequate.
I hope you'll consider doing the same.