I like writing.

By on Dec 4, 2014 in The Unruly Ascetic

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It is a chore, but it is a gratifying one.

I like having my thoughts clearly organized and presented in a tangible, visible, (potentially) audible way. I find a sense of peaceful serenity when I am able to write out my thoughts on a topic and know that I am being honest with myself.

This is therapeutic in many ways.  Striving for honesty with the reader allows (forces) me to confront my own hypocrisies and admit them to someone.  I think that this is part of why some people (woohoo!) like to read my writing. Because I try to admit, genuinely, when I am being the jerk or the weakling whom I am accusing others of being. It’s relatable (or supposed to be).

I also like writing because some topics are so complex or convoluted, writing a piece that I intend to make public makes me narrow my thoughts down from the winding, expanding, reactionary noise in my head to the personally useful perspective that no longer feels so overwhelming.

These are the more esoteric, cerebral reasons for writing.

These reasons I have categorized as “good.”

I also have plenty of “bad” reasons.

…and I’m beginning to this I need to shut that dichotomy down.

Like anyone who writes in a public forum, I am doing it because I want attention.  because I want people to like me and validate my feelings.  because I want to be able to speak to all the nameless someones who hurt me or my loves and tell them why they should stop. and also because I want to show the world how much I know! how smart and exceptional I am!

I no longer think this is bad.

It probably was when I first started.  or sometimes is when I begin writing a new piece.

In the end, the writing is the therapy that makes me see these desires and use them functionally.

When I write seeking approval and validation I find myself trying (reeeeally hard) to earn it.  To earn it by being honest, by admitting the role I play, by considering the other perspective and assuming that some level of validity is inherent in it.

When I write to speak to an attacker, to communicate with someone who has hurt me or someone I care about (maybe a single person or a whole branch of a community) I find myself needing to admit when I have done the same thing, and use the public forum as an opportunity to share (whether politely or snarkily) how and why my perspective developed.

At the end of the day, I write because I want people to respect me. I want people to trust me.

Both are earned, not demanded.

I am a traveling mysore teacher.  Do you have any idea how hard that is?  To always be the new teacher that no one has heard of? Hell, I don’t even look like I can get through primary. I can not expect anyone to trust me or respect me at first meeting.  I have to earn it by communicating not only what I know about the practice, but my willingness to admit what I don’t know, my ability to see another perspective, and the strength I am building in being able to make a good judgement call where there is not a cut and dry answer. It’s hard. It makes me super chatty when I’m teaching. It has also made me very carefully articulate, a trait I take pride and comfort in.

When I first started blogging I was writing to a person who had hurt me.  I wanted to tell him how strong I was and how well I was doing and how much I learned.

After a few years I was blogging because I wanted people to know my name, I wanted attention and validation (I also struggled to motivate myself to this purpose).

Now I am writing because I want you to trust meI want to earn your respect. I want you to know that even if I’m harsh or overly direct or unyielding, it is not without careful consideration and a willingness to back it up.

Sooo, thanks for reading. I work harder to be honest and thoughtful for you than I could for myself.