When truth hurts or the painful blending of the public and private self

As a novice yogi looking to move beyond the poses (asana) and looking for the deeper connection and integration of body, mind and spirit, I have been reading The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and studying the 8 limbs of yoga. One of those limbs is yama (moral restraint) and breaks down into  ahimsā (non-harming), satya (truthfulness), asteya (non-stealing), bramacharya (directing one’s energy towards the Divine), aparigraha (greedlessness, non-hoarding). Now that you have your yoga lesson, I must confess that I am struggling with truthfulness (satya).

Speaking my truth has been something I have been intentional about doing both in this space and in all areas of my life; but it seems merely speaking my truth is no longer good enough. Back in 2008, when I started this blog as I have said before, it was my corner to speak my truth and having few readers made it pretty easy. After all, I didn’t have to worry about upsetting anyone.

However the only constant in life is change and even in blog land, things change. As more and more people are online it means I have picked up more readers than I used to have. I once thought that was a good thing but honestly, I am not too sure anymore. Long story short, there are many people in my offline life who are now reading this space and to be honest, it isn’t comfortable.

Living in a small state, means the degrees of separation between people isn’t six at all; it’s more like two or maybe three degrees of separation. My professional life here in Maine is pretty public due to the nature of what I do and as a result, keeping my private life private is harder than it is for most and I fear this blog isn’t helping things. Closer to home, it’s clear that there are people who the Man Unit and I thought were good acquaintances, maybe even friends who after reading this space or following me via social media channels have clearly had second thoughts about us.

I won’t lie, it hurts to know that being myself and speaking my truth is starting to backfire on us personally. I have thought about calling it a wrap on the blog but this space has given me a way to make professional connections for my other passions such as writing. I was asked to be a contributor in an anthology on mothering that is being released in winter 2014. It’s not my own book, but as someone who has dreamed of being in print, it is a damn good start. After putting my heart into this space for 5 years, the idea of shutting it down because of other people hurts more than I care to admit. As a truth seeker though, I know that intentionally creating discomfort for others is also a problem. In short, I don’t know what to do. Professionally the people who employ me are fine with this space; several of my board members follow the BGIM fan page on Facebook and read here. Yet when donors bring up my disclosures and question why I am basically opening myself up online, I admit it gets sticky. Granted I have always tried to balance what I share publicly with making sure I keep private things private.

Yet in a world that is increasingly open and connected, I wonder if my worries are for naught? I don’t know but I do know that it feels like a problem that needs to be solved and as someone who values’ being able to solve problems, not having the answers is hard to stomach.

3 thoughts on “When truth hurts or the painful blending of the public and private self

  1. I dont always agree with what you blog, however it’s your blog, your view, perspective. I don’t consider us any less friends because of views, we’re shooting @ the same target from different angles is all. I would shudder to think you’d stop writing because it rubbed some sensitive people wrong.

  2. As the director of a local nonprofit agency, I really understand your dilemma. It’s not really possible to have a private social media persona when you represent your organization on the public stage. I’m trying to publish a controversial novel under a pen name because of fear of exposure to Board and donors. Speaking about race and women’s issues in your blog won’t be separated from an agency agenda unfortunately….

  3. I have been following you for only a few months but I would miss you if you stop blogging now. I always thought the value and need to blog was to express your views/opinions and anyone who feels your views are wrong for them do not have to follow them. But education in life is to hear different views and make your own choices. Hope you continue.

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