“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

~ Carl Jung

Monday, May 7, 2012


I have an on going struggle inside me between the "Who do you think you are?  No one is interested in what you think or create." side and the "This little light of mine I'm gonna let it shine" side of my self.  Recently I attended a conference on therapy and technology that reignited this debate.

The speaker was knowledgeable and interesting and shared lots of good information.  When he spoke about managing your online presence, a number of people in the room stated they would never have a facebook page or share any personal information online.  I have a facebook page and a blog.  I left feeling a little uncomfortable and wondering if I might be too self-disclosing.  As often happens, the various sides of this argument are coming at me from all directions.  Several of the blogs I follow have addressed this issue this  week.  I thought you  might find these perspectives interesting.  I did.

The first is from a daily meditation from the Henri Nouwen Society.  Henri Nouwen's books were life changing for me.  I read them a number of years ago, when I was beginning to recognize my struggle with perfectionism  and this over developed internal critic.  Here was a man who was obviously spiritual who wrote about his own struggles and openly shared his humanity.  His books helped me to realize that being spiritual was really about being an honest, authentic human being.  It was about sharing the good/the bad, the pretty/the ugly, the figured out squared away parts/the chaotic I haven't a clue parts. This is the meditation from April 29th:

Sunday April 29, 2012   

Making Our Lives Available to Others

One of the arguments we often use for not writing is this:   "I have nothing original to say.  Whatever I might say, someone else has already said it, and better than I will ever be able to."  This, however, is not a good argument for not writing.  Each human person is unique and original, and nobody has lived what we have lived.  Furthermore, what we have lived, we have lived not just for ourselves but for others as well.  Writing can be a very creative and invigorating way to make our lives available to ourselves and to others.

We have to trust that our stories deserve to be told.  We may discover that the better we tell our stories the better we will want to live them.

- Henri J. M. Nouwen 

More can be found at www.henrinouwen.org.

So, I have decided that I will continue to share my story and my art.  I will blog and post an occasional picture or thought on facebook.  Some people may think it isn't professional, or it is too much self-disclosure.  I know that for me both the process of creating art and writing and the sharing of my thoughts and feelings seems right.  I have lived too much of my life hiding out of fear of what others might think.  No more.  I know that telling my story is helping me live my story in a better, healthier way.  I am going to  listen to the wisdom of my two year old grandson Jack who has reminded me through the singing of one of his latest  favorite songs:  This Little Light of Mine I'm Gonna Let It Shine. 


Jen said...

Dottie - What an extraordinary entry... I came to your blog through Pinterest, and just wanted to tell you - your words hit a very tender place for me this evening, and I'm very glad I found this!

Dottie said...

Jen, Thank you for visiting and for leaving your comment. I am so glad it spoke to you. Be gentle with that tender spot. Come back and visit me again. Dottie

It's All Connected said...

Both the daily meditation and the video were truly uplifting. If you were not blogging, I would not have had those positive thoughts presented to me today. There is a profound difference between sharing your latest fight with your husband or images of you half naked at a keg party and using social media as a means of connecting and sharing ideas, art, wisdom, and experiences with others. It's a balancing act between discretion and honesty. In this relatively new medium, we are all feeling our way. ~ Maureen

Woodland Rose said...

Dottie, I agree with everything that Maureen and Jen have said. My own two cents: everything is changing and in flux especially for those of us "of a certain age" and the more flexible and open we can be with what is evolving - the stronger and more authentic in who we are. Those people who proclaim (with loud strong voices) that this or that is not viable are not the voices to listen to. Your own heartfelt creative voice will guide you without fail. Whatever creates love and only love is real. Beauty, freedom, peace and joy are other words for love. Thank you for your post. Thank you for your courage. I am grateful to my online community of wonderful artsy-fartsy souls. It is a community and bless us all. Andrea

Dottie said...

I absolutely agree! I think the best part of getting older is my acceptance and even celebration of myself and my comfort with the knowledge that some people will like who I am and what I have to say, some people won't and many won't care one way or the other. That's the way it is and that's OK. I am very grateful for my online community and all the support and encouragement I have found here. Thanks you!!

Becky Shander said...

Yes, shine on! Keep believing and keep sharing (even if others disagree)...your heart knows what's best for you.

Jenny said...

So glad you visited my blog so that I could visit yours and read your wonderful post. I can completely relate to the struggle you describe. I have asked myself the same questions and I have actually sung myself the same song! I have struggled with finding a place for my creativity for most of my adult life. I have rationalized all the ways that it does not make sense. But it is still there. Finally, I have just given in to it... And I am so glad I did. Keep writing and sharing. I really enjoy what you have written!