An inspiration to become public

For some time I am attending the frequent Zoom meeting of a group called Global Challenges Collaboration.  Yesterday the topic “journaling” came up and how to create and maintain a blog.  Harry surprised me a little when he said that he puts everything in his blog, his journaling, to be able to remember later what was going on in his life. “Really”, I said, “also the very personal stuff?”. I myself saw writing a blogpost like a task which needs to be about a topic and somehow edited, some idea of how it needs to be etc.

So far it took me some time to write blog posts about topics which are interesting to me. Yes, I shared something about myself, but would I really write everything as I do in my private journal? There I often don’t write in a coherent way, impressions, feelings, insights, not necessarily developed to a point I want to make – because I might not want to make a point, I might not want to “teach” somebody, I might not want to deliver a strategy or advice or whatever.

“But who would want to read what my day is about, what goes through my mind, what insights I have, what learnings and what opinions?”, I asked back. Harry responded that personal stories are much more touching than constructed texts, and that those people would show up and read it who are attracted to it and can benefit from it. Well, yes, probably.

This opens a can of worms. Would you openly talk about experiences with people where you might come to interpretations not completely favorable for that person? What if they read it? Wouldn’t it be better to address these things personally with the other instead of risking that he/she finds it in a public post? The feeling of shame comes up and of lacking integrity. What to do about that?

Well, this will be an adventure when I should decide to really do that! Fear comes up of being attacked publicly for saying what I say. But why is that so different from now? I already say a lot of things, here and in public videos of The Wisdom Factory, often I take a clear position on controversial topics like #metoo, gender, human development, psychology etc.

So what makes publishing a privat journal different? Only the fact that, while I am writing, I don’t have the awareness in the back of my head that I need to chose my words carefully for being appropriate for being read by anyone? I am exploring the answer to that. What do you think?

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6 thoughts on “An inspiration to become public”

  1. I think that some personal stuff in a blog post is important, it is a must. But some things aren’t ready or will never be ready to be out there for everyone to see, examine, add their opinion to it. Every time, we put something out in the open, it is an invitation for a dialogue.
    Sometimes, I don’t want to have that dialogue – maybe even not with myself. That is why I might write it into a journal – to get it out of my head. Other times, I write it to find out what is it I am thinking about, but I don’t want someone’s opinion or input.
    While I agree that it is okay to share thoughts that are not fully formed or even somewhat of private nature, I don’t think a grievance with another person is a good idea to share out into the public unless the incident can be described in a way that nobody knows who the involved parties are.
    To me, if I am not ready or willing to have a conversation about something with the general public, I am not putting it there.

    1. Marianne, I totally agree. And putting this topic out also served me and others to think more deeply about it.
      One argument for not publishing whatever you write is what you are saying: sometimes, writing in a journal serves to get our own ideas clearer, to find out for ourselves what we really think about the things we are writing about. And that certainly is not good for publishing, it is a work in progress where you might realise afterwards that some pieces are not really right and you eliminate them. But others, reading them, think normally that what you write is what you think and stand for, ignoring that you were in a process of trial and error.

  2. There are may paths ahead revealed by Live Journal and personal diary notes, Reading what is on the disk in a year or 2 years from now not only revels the progress I am making but it allows me to better detect which path ahead is heading in the right direction.

    1. I guess you are right. Then you need to take the time to read again what you have written in the past. It can be very enlightening, for seeing the progress, but also for realising that, time ago, you were already struggling with problems which you believed to be new.

  3. This sounds like a meaningful adventure Adelheid! I like the points you raise very much. I had some thoughts concerning this passage:

    “This opens a can of worms. Would you openly talk about experiences with people where you might come to interpretations not completely favorable for that person? What if they read it? Wouldn’t it be better to address these things personally with the other instead of risking that he/she finds it in a public post? The feeling of shame comes up and of lacking integrity. What to do about that?”

    How can I present personal thoughts in a public format? And what if they concern experiences I have shared with someone, and include perspectives they may find disagreeable?

    This makes me very interested in finding a kind of balance between expressing my genuine personal point of view, with being fair to another person, and maybe also questioning my own subjective perspectives and conclusions.

    If I mention someones name, there is good reason to be fair, and if I describe their behavior, or my reaction to it, what attitude do I view this through while writing the blogpost?

    In one sense, when writing the blogpost, there is a time for reflection, maybe with a calmer and clearer mind. And if I notice the mind is not clear right now, what is it filled with, what is happening? Now I begin to consider what is happening with myself, the personal experience, and may notice that my reaction is related to many other things in my own life which this other person does not know about.

    What do I know about them? About what was really behind the behavior? And about what their deepest wish is, or their worries, the point of view through which they presently see the world?

    Maybe it occurs to me that I really dont know what is up with them. Or maybe, when considering it, I understand something. In both cases, this is an insight, and ultimately leads back to myself, my own experience, which is based on many experiences from earlier.

    In this sense, the question of how I should write about the other person, especially if I want to be fair to them, becomes a door into an inquiry and maybe to a new understanding.

    Then there are the kind of things which maybe I do know something more about, have been thinking about seriously, and where I may have a point of view which seems strange or even provoking to others. Is this a challenge for me in how to express it? I cant satisfy the ghost of a million invisible readers, but the thought of how this is read by other eyes, is also a door out of my usual limited perspective. It may at least inspire me to formulate it somewhat differently than I have before. This can also bring a new understanding.

    And if it turns out, that upon considering this I begin to change my mind on how I feel about what I thought I had a clear cut opinion about, maybe this is one of those questions which are not ready to be expressed yet but invites to a more silent contemplation?

    These are just a few examples of ways it could be approached. We must find our own way, and that is kind of the whole point from the beginning. What does seem clear is, that the points where it becomes challenging, may be the points where the most valuable understandings are hidden ?

    1. Glenn, thanks for your complex comment. The article has evoked quite a few responses on what can be shared publicly and what better not.

      I just listened to the special session about Heiner Benking in the GCC community. He says that having the courage to go out and share our thoughts and our knowledge is, maybe, the most difficult thing. There will always be people who think we are arrogant when doing so, self-inflation and what not and they will find things to criticise and even trash. We need to become able to not be intimidated by what others might say, but get out with the contributions we can make which seem to us having the possibility to influence others in a positive way and to convey some guidance, compassion or whatever to what they need.

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