What I’ve Learned from Blogging
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Ebb and Flow.
Defy your past? That’s right—defy it.
A pox on all those people who tell you to “embrace your past.” Embracing it doesn’t do anything but keep you trapped in old patterns that no longer serve you.
Look, we’re all a little messed up. It’s part of being human. No one makes it to adulthood without taking on some of the darknesses from our families and carrying those shadows into our future. Yes, your mom lived vicariously through you. No, your dad really didn’t give you enough encouragement. Maybe there were lies, crime, abandonment, abuse, some sort of pain way back there in the past. It happens to all of us, whether we acknowledge it or not. And we can blame the not-so-good things in our lives on our pasts or we can look within—hard, upclose—and shine a light on our shadows to dispel them.
Part of looking at who we are and what it takes to make us the best “us” we can be is recognizing patterns in our lives. We live those patterns, even if they’re really, really bad for us. We do it because they’re comfortable, even if they hurt. We do it because they’re familiar, and familiar isn’t as scary as breaking free of everything we know and jumping out there into the unknown where we think things might be even worse.
When I was writing Dark Revelations, so much of that feeling came out in Aubrey: the sense of being trapped in a holding pattern and yearning for a future that’s been stolen and not know how to get to it, so choosing instead to live in the past.
A counselor recommended I start blogging as a “healing journal.” Today, about half a million words later, I’m still blogging. I’d thought for certain that I’d be “healed” in a few months and then my journal would cease, but the need for healing went deeper than I thought, and although I’m in a much better place in my life now, I’m still finding daily insights into human dynamics, relationships…life.
It’s been through blogging that I’ve really discovered myself and worked through my issues to purge old wounds and accept that I deserve good things, that it’s okay to be angry as long as I don’t hold it inside in an unhealthy way, that I love very deeply, and that some things I will not up with, ever again. Blogging is how I discovered all the patterns in my life that I followed without realizing I could do something different that made me happy. Through blogging, I’ve learned about myself, about life, about…love.
My blogging has always been very personal. I don’t separate the person from the author. Sometimes my entries are funny, poignant, angry, grieving, and a little nuts. I let people see the deep stuff, the raw stuff, the real stuff. I don’t hide it. The interesting thing is how many people—both men and women—come back to me and say, “You’re writing about my life” or “I know exactly how you feel because I’m going through the same thing.”
But that speaks to the universality of the human experience, doesn’t it? How much we really are alike underneath?
And if we’re really that much alike underneath, then I think we all have something to learn from looking at the patterns we live by, seeing it they serve us well or hold us back, and challenging ourselves to find a better future. If only we dare to defy our pasts.