Life: It’s Not Always Peachy
Do you know what I’ve been noticing lately? I’ve been noticing that people are a LOT more confessional and honest. I’ve been noticing people sharing things about their lives and being super candid about feelings or experiences which might previously have been kept hush-hush or stored in that cupboard marked skeleton. Have you noticed this too?
For instance, I’ve seen Kathy Lette doing the media rounds, promoting the book she’s just released about raising her son (who has Asperger’s) and wondering (tongue-in-cheek) why we don’t eat our own young.
Today (again on The Circle) Kerri Sackville spoke about how her anxiety led her to under-worry and not realise how ill one of her children was until they had to be hospitalised.
In the blogging arena there are lots of bloggers who share the very real things they are going through and the supposed ‘mistakes’ they make along the way. A big part of the reason these bloggers have big audiences is because they ARE so real and they aren’t spinning a web of fakery about who they are. The only spin they do is in the laundry. The rest of the time they are hearts on sleeves, telling it like it is, with all kinds of consequences.
I guess the major consequence of this kind of confessional attitude is judgement. Urk. Judgement is forever rearing its ugly head and tramping on the true, good intentions of sharey people. And I guess, when we share and confess, we wince a wee bit as the words come out, knowing that even one challenging retort from a listener/reader/viewer will cut like a knife. (Oops. I am saying we now. I guess as a blogger I feel this quite profoundly too…!)
The thing is, without these confessors and sharers, the bits of other people’s lives that we see would be glossy, vanilla, the highlights package. And there’s a danger in always seeing then good stuff, because it means that when we have our own dips and lulls, we feel alone. We need to see the stories of others and support their decision to tell them honestly and openly, chiefly because they want to tell them and it’s very nice manners to be a good listener and care. But also we need to hear those stories because they give our own lives and struggles a bit of an anchor. They give us a reference point for whatever we may be going through (or about to go through). Just because we may not feel able to reveal so bravely, doesn’t mean that we should turn away, shoosh! or ‘tut tut’ at the raw truths being revealed.
I know that for some people, the honesty and openness of others can be confronting. I also know that some people might see this confessional approach as a chance to make a judgment or to feel better about themselves. I get that. But what I think is that these open dialogues are a way to make a connection, not a judgement. I think that we should celebrate, learn from and support those who are brave enough to tell their true stories. And sharing experiences is a way of gathering all kinds of confusing feelings and thoughts and sort of crowd-sourcing solutions and comfort.
What do you think?