I want to type some things I’ve noticed about online vulnerability and why I still think it’s valuable.
Nearly without fail, any kind of post on the internet that I write where I mention I am questioning something, or struggling through something, or even one teeny bit uncertain, or even learning a new concept, I’ll get a specific response from someone. Well-meaning and kind, they inform me that the solution is to not feel that way. Or someone will text me to make sure that I am okay, that I haven’t dived off the deep-end.
To be honest, it’s kind of annoying. I include the word kind because it is also kind. I get the lovely concern of others but I also wonder why we all are so uncomfortable with uncertainty.
If I go into a sermon at my church, I can almost be guaranteed that at some point in the sermon, the pastor will mention that it is okay to have questions, that God accepts us as we are, that He loves our current self.
Yet online? It seems like uncertainty looks bad. Sometimes offline too. But maybe that's a story for another day.
Online vulnerability, specifically about being uncertain on ideas or topics or concepts — I still think it’s valuable.
When I write online about something I am uncertain about, someone else might read along and go “oh really? I’m not the only one who thinks like that?” And then suddenly instead of two lonely people wondering and wandering alone, we are two friends walking together in a journey.
So I would rather link arms and be okay with uncertainty than cross my arms and acts if I think doubt is a problem. Or if uncertainty isn't the right word, I want to be okay with knowing part of something and seeking to learn more. Specifically for topics like white privilege and anything around race, I want to be uncertain, listen well, ask questions, and keep living as a learner.
Maybe that's really what I'm trying to say today. I want to live as a learner. Not swayed by false ideas but constantly paying attention to understand truth better. And constantly willing to speak even before I have perfected my sentence.
Uncertainty paired with humility and grace? That's my current goal.
On the flip side, there is also a type of happy vulnerability. What about when life is lovely, when cards are falling in place, when easy breezy really is the sentiment? Should I get quiet? Pretend life isn't blissful? I don't think so.
Never be quiet because of fear or loud because of pride.
I'm in the middle of these questions. What is a correct vulnerability? How much is too much? How little is too little? What aides others? When am I bragging? When am I complaining? When is my word of ease or uncertainty the right one?
So many questions. Yet also, such peace in the midst of them. That's my honest feeling today: Peace in the midst of questions.