Two years ago, I unintentionally gave up fear of sharing for Lent. I hadn't chosen anything else to give up - and two spontaneous Facebook poems came up in the first two days of the season. "Oh no...I'm giving up fear of sharing."
That Lent helped me confront many fears I had about my creative expression being too much, or self-centered. It helped me learn that most of my art isn't sourced in me at all - which makes it more fun! I can rejoice in the art that is made knowing that I was only the vessel to bring it into being. I can share freely, knowing it isn't self-glorifying, because I can hardly take much credit for myself. Teacher taught me the technical skill, my able-bodiedness to draw is a gift, the words I use are borrowed and inspired by those I've read and heard before - Most of all, I'm more aware than ever that God's Spirit at work in me is the origin of any original artistry coming out of me.
It also helped me learn how much I cared about the judgements of others. How much I allow fear of what others may think to hold me back from doing things.
In a time where sharing and seeing is amplified by everyone's increased isolation and media use - and even before the virus exaggerated this reality - I constantly ask, what does sharing look like?
I wrote in my journal on 10.18.19:
"WHY DO I CONSIDER SOMETHING MORE "REAL" WHEN IT IS SHARED WITH ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKS - "real" clarified as valuable/valued, valid or true, substantive, or worthwhile.
I think it is rooted in a very real human desire + need for community. When we share our thoughts/ideas, when we share ourselves with others - we all grow. People feed off of people. Social media had made this feeding more widespread and accessible...more gratuitous....
We need no personal, in-depth relationship for you to see my expressions laid bare before the flickering screen - a scroll or click away. We're inundated, and still seeking authenticity in the midst of all chaos and influence and marketing. Everyone's selling something. What if I only want to give myself away?
Mutuality. Givenness. Possible today? On social medias? Maybe so. Hard to say."
I was inspired when my friend T began to openly share about her experiences with bipolar disorder 1 on her YouTube channel and Instagram.
In Brené Brown's Netflix Special The Call to Courage, she shares how vulnerability is NOT transparency. How airing your dirty laundry online isn't a sign of vulnerability. I wonder if vulnerability is possible through social media - and believe that it is.
All this said, I want to try out "sharing" in ways that I haven't before, over the next couple of days. If you'd like to learn/follow along with me, you're more than welcome.
With thanks and love,
- emotional healing.
- praise for ALL THE GOOD God is doing right now.
- endurance and joy.