There are several things I have observed since I’ve been writing posts for my blogs and blogging.
1- It’s very cathartic. That’s obvious. There is nothing more liberating than getting something out of your system, especially if it is something that has been buried under layers of thought and feeling, which has been affecting you, your attitude, your concept of yourself, your behaviour, and how you live your life.
It’s not a secret, you know it’s there, but it is also not out in the open. It’s in a no man’s land within, one which you rarely visit because there is something about it that you don’t want to see, don’t want to know. Perhaps it’s unpleasant, boring, grim, or just doesn’t support you as you would like to be and are trying to be, so it gets ignored.
It doesn’t like being ignored. It has an important message for you, and you’re pretending you haven’t received the inner email. Think about how annoyed you get when someone doesn’t acknowledge receipt of an email which you sent them, especially when that email is important, and perhaps even has an urgent question that needs answering or vital piece of information. That’s how this part of you feels about being ignored. All it wants is acknowledgement, then it will give you the message it has and move on. But it’s stuck, it can’t complete its purpose, so it can’t move on, and neither can you. A part of you is stuck and that ripples through all of you in subtle ways.
Getting these sort of things out into the open can transform your life and can give you a whole new view of yourself. After that part of you has completed its purpose and can move on, so can you… in my case it usually means I get to move on to the next level of my inner computer game, where there is another hidden thing which needs exposing.
2 – It’s a great way to observe yourself. Your patterns of behaviour. Your inner dialogue. Even when you think you’re writing pieces which are not about you and your personal thoughts, feelings, views, beliefs, and life. Even when you’re writing specifically for an audience, and not for yourself as an audience member. Even if you are writing impersonal pieces, social commentary, detached and uninvolved. You are always revealing yourself to yourself. In your choice of words, style of writing, and the images which you may couple with your posts. In the parts which you edit out, those are sometimes the most revelatory because your inner censor is whispering all the time in your ear, and that inner censor tells you a lot about the parts of you which you hide. Those hidden parts are so very delicious.
Some of the least revealing posts are at times the ones we write about ourselves, because we are in familiar territory. From the moment we are born we begin a process which teaches us to create who we are, particularly the image which we present to others. We are all experts at self-presentation even if the person we introduce to others as ourselves is shy and awkward, not socially aware. We are socially aware, but sometimes we tell ourselves we are not, because that is the image we have chosen as our outer shell. We work with it constantly. Every ‘I am…’ statement is another building brick, and repetition of that statement is the cement which keeps it in place.
Some of the most revealing posts can be the ones when we are not talking about ourselves but discussing someone else, especially if that person is someone we don’t like. The same is true when we are debating an issue, expounding on a pet peeve, ranting about a passion yet perhaps doing it dispassionately, putting forward points in a reasonable, rational, and intellectual manner. We feel safe from self exposure in these sort of posts as we have told ourselves that we are not writing about ourselves, so we leak out far more information than we do when we are carefully monitoring ourselves to not reveal our secret selves.
I’ve learned some very intriguing things about myself from the posts I leave in the draft folder and later delete, the things I think and feel but choose not to share, the things I don’t write about. When I am in intellectual mode, I see the emotions hiding behind the detached mind. When I am in emotional mode, I see the thoughts being formed by the emotions. Reading and sensing what lies between the lines of words is deciphering my own cypher which unlocks the soul within a soul, the real being inside of the real being I think I am.
We never stop talking about ourselves even when we are certain that we are not. Even when we are silent we are still talking, just using different ways of communicating that talk. Our being is geared towards self-expression. Even when we die, we leave behind traces of ourselves which still emit our energy.
Not posting on your blog is still posting on your blog, as is deleting the blog entirely. You leave an imprint. You send a message to those who see that you are gone.
3 – The after-posting is packed with potential to see the parts of you which direct you. Catch glimpses of the inner puppet-master. This is the you who created your blog and has a very specific purpose for your blog and the posts therein. You may think you know why you are blogging, and it may be that you do, but there is always more to why we do what we do, more than our inner self reveals to us.
There is a reason why we don’t know everything about our motivations, it isn’t always because we don’t want to know, sometimes it is because part of why we are doing what we are doing is to discover our true nature and motivations. If we just told ourselves outright the reason why, we might not bother doing the thing which is inspired by the why, then we would miss the opportunity to have an experience which will give us knowing and wisdom, because we would just settle for intellectual knowledge. You know it now, so why bother living it, why have a hands on experience when you can just have a detached intellectual one. Safer that way. No risk of error, mistakes, and ego bubble popping.
Our ego prefers for us to be safe, and look immaculate. It prefers to talk rather than do. Doing is risky. You might slip and fall, your white-washed image might get stained, and your ideal and perfect self might become genuine and imperfect. Your magic powers might disappear and you might find out you’re human. Yet being human is one of the most profound experiences we can ever have, because it is messy, chaotic, imperfect, and thrillingly frightening.
Every time you post, there is a moment when the ego is very vulnerable, exposing its underbelly.
How you react to how others react to your posts or don’t react to your posts. How you receive and deal with comments. How you check or don’t check your stats. Whether you read or don’t read the spam.
Do you read the spam or just delete it without bothering to look. It’s actually quite a fascinating insight into the human psyche to see how spammers choose to word their spam. They think this is what you want to hear and what you will react to. These are the words which may get you to click on a link. These are words designed to manipulate. If you didn’t know it was spam, how would you react?
What you think when you read what others post. Which posts inspire and push you to comment on them, ‘Like’ them, perhaps reblog them, and what that says about you. Your comments may be directed at what was written in a particular post, or to a particular blogger, but they are also directed at yourself. “Hey me,” they say, “this is what I think, and thinking this makes me feel this, and it makes me know who I am and who I am not.”
I have come face to face with some very raw aspects of myself during the after-post period. Some are parts of myself which I have not treated very well, mainly because I don’t know what they want from me, or I do know what they want, but I don’t know how to give it to them. They are hungry for something. They need something. Is it attention? From others? From me? Hmmm… I don’t think that is it. There is something else there, intangible at the moment. I don’t know yet. I need to continue some more with posting and blogging to really understand what these after-post murmurings are telling me.
So, What do you think? What is your experience? What does posting and blogging reveal to you about yourself?