This is an old piece I never published. Blogger has the date of 17 March 2013 for when it was composed.
The internet is an interesting place.
Judgment is rarely reserved here.
I can find it everywhere I look. And it's getting to me.
Just in writing this post, I am passing judgment. But I need to get this off my chest, and then get some fresh air.
Ever notice how internet gurus are infallible? They never have any problems. Well, Martha Stewart went to jail, but it wasn't for an uneven stitch.
It's been said, "Never air your dirty laundry in public." And you certainly won't be finding people who consider themselves to be experts on anything doing that, lest it mar their image. But then, in all their blessed effort to maintain face, they end up acting like jerks when someone calls them on some foible, and in all their jerkitude, we become divided as a community, when we feel we need to take a side.
After all, it's hard enough to maintain a public persona without criticism of our perceived perfection. But, what is in it for the audience, who reads and follows, in hopes of achieving that same "perfection?" (Only to find out six months or two years later that things weren't so perfect, even for the guru).
I saw a recurring theme on a friend's Facebook page, and then again in a page he helps administer, several mentions of the virtue of discretion, and even posted a quote likening it to "self-worship." Well, I disagree.
Kate Fridkis wrote about the value of personal essay here, and I think it is directly relevant to what I'm trying to express.
I think the converse is more true; pride is self-worship. Projecting a false persona, pretending that our lives are perfect -- that is self-worship, and it is the kind that is destructive to ourselves and others.
I would love to be able to find the origin of the quote "Tranparency is the new currency" because I believe it to be true. I think that the type of discretion my friend mentions is in direct opposition to the kind of change we need to see in the world, where we can move forward without fear of being found out, and in an enlightened way which encourages self-honor rather than self-hatred. I even think that "self-worship" is the wrong term for hiding oneself.
Certainly, we're only hiding those parts of us we hate or fear. I say AIR THEM!
Once it's no longer a secret, there's less reason to hate ourselves.
Let's wash this laundry together. Let's honor ourselves.
Also, let's stop giving value to gurus, and let's stop slinging poop at each other.
My moment of self-honor: this was a hard winter. I think that the combination of being stuck inside for most of the summer, then the winter, and the election, and too much time reading judgmental writing, and feeling judged, sent me to a place where I no longer wanted to share myself. However, I did learn that even when I'm not in a "good" place emotionally, I can use that energy to make "good" changes, and that sometimes a fit of rage is not a bad thing. Some of the best literature ever written was done by people who were not happy (not even part of the time), and who were not afraid to share themselves.
Here is my first watercolor in about twenty-two years, flat shadow and all:
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