Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Few Thoughts On Blogging, Negativity and Finding My Passion

Thinking Out Loud

Today is an anniversary of sorts. As of today, I have been blogging for one year and ten months. Just shy two months of the two year mark. And that's pretty significant in my book. I've seen bloggers start and stop within this time period. I've stuck with it and plan to continue to do so. It seems important to take stock, however, every now and again, on how things are going. I've been doing some thinking recently and rather than keeping all my thoughts inside my own brain, I'm going to do some thinking out loud. Feel free to join in with my thinking if you wish. Just, please do it kindly and without foul language. Which brings me to my first point.

I have been so blessed during my time blogging to receive such kind and supportive comments from so many people. Thank you! Each of your comments is a treasure to me. So why the above heading of negativity? Because out of all of the beautiful, wonderful, supportive comments there have been a few that have been, well.....ugly. And not just ugly. Vulgar. Mean spirited. Unkind. Isn't it interesting that out of all the wonderful comments I have received, I still remember the bad ones? And, interestingly enough, these comments have come from men. Why are they reading my blog anyway? I have spared you, my dear readers, from seeing the profanity and name calling by deleting said comments. It makes me wonder, though, why people are motivated to be mean. Is it just easy to sit behind a computer and type vulgarities knowing that the words don't have a face associated with them? Like everything else in the world, things can be used for good or for ill. Computers as well. It makes me think of young girls and women, however, and how they can be affected by such things. If I, a retired woman of a certain age, can be affected by ugly words, how more so will young girls and women who are still developing their self concepts about their brains and their bodies? 

We've heard a lot in recent times about the put downs of women for physical attributes, political opinions, etc. etc. This is nothing new, of course. These kinds of things have gone on throughout history. A new term has been coined most recently, however..."nasty women" who speak their thoughts. As I have pondered over the few, and yet unnerving, negative comments I have received on this blog, I wonder if the commenters would term me as a "nasty woman?" You see, I dare to speak my thoughts about many topics, including my faith. I dare to share my style in clothing and home decor. I dare to share my humor and my love for my husband and family. I dare to share my quirky sense of humor and my love for animals and my penchant for a touch of sarcasm. I dare to not be defined by age or by stereotypes of what women of a certain age should think or wear or be doing. I dare to continue to try new things, to express my thoughts and to evolve into the woman that God wants me to be. I dare to go forward, not backward, and to stand tall and to shout my truth....even if my voice quakes....or I am called a whore or told I don't know what the #@&% a blog is. (Yes, these were some of the comments.) I dare to not be silenced. Which is the point, in my opinion, of what calling women "nasty" is all about. 

As my thoughts have wandered in recent days about negativity in life and online, the story in the Bible of the woman caught in adultery keeps coming to mind. How she was dragged through the crowds and thrown down at the feet of Jesus with the crowds demanding that she be stoned to death. I can't help but wonder.....where was the man in this story that had committed adultery with her? Why wasn't he being dragged through the crowd to be stoned, as well? Did she carry the greater responsibility for the sin of adultery than he did? Why was it so easy for the crowd to want blood? To be mean? To hate? Of course, we know how Jesus responded. With quiet confidence he bent down to write in the sand and said, "Let those without sin cast the first stone." When all had left, He offered the woman forgiveness and compassion. Not hate. Not mean words. Only love. What would it be like if we lived in a world where there was no negativity? No hate? No stoning with words and meanness? What would it be like to live in a world that offered love like Jesus?

Finding My Passion
I am blessed to have found blogging to be a passion. The printed word is an amazing way to share my thoughts, ideas, photography, and life. It is also a risky venture, because in sharing these things I leave myself open to the thoughts and words of others. But, as with all things, there is risk and I am willing to accept that risk. Writing on my blog is one aspect of my life's passion. I also am passionate about reading, experiencing music in different forms and reveling in quiet thoughtfulness. I am passionate about reading Scripture, about teaching in new and different ways and about supporting my family and friends. Each new day brings new ways to discover new passions and new things about myself that have lied buried under the years of bureaucracy, rules and regulations and, yes, the negativity of living in this structured society of work. There are many ways to "stone" others, you see, and only one of these ways actually involves throwing rocks. The throwing of words is much more effective in controlling others and not nearly as messy to those who do the throwing. And, if the throwing can happen from behind the anonymity of a computer, even better, right?! Wrong.

You might think that I am defeated by the negativity. But, nothing could be further from the truth. Negativity can be a powerful motivator because, I must be doing something right or people wouldn't be riled up! Thinking for myself, standing up for what is right and following my God given passions for creativity is my way of being the woman God created me to be. Blogging is part of that creativity. It is a passion that I am blessed to enjoy and fully intend to continue. This "nasty woman" will not be silenced. And neither should you, dear readers.

Your turn do you view negativity in life? What are your passions? If you are a blogger, how do you handle negative and/or unkind comments? 

Until Next Time,


Jodie's Touch of Style said...

Obviously some people just need a life--don't you think, Debbie!!

Debbie Styles Life said...

I agree, Jodie! Thanks.

Mary K. said...

Debbie your blog is filled with joy and kindness. Obviously the negatives have no life. I got one once and you know what my blogging friends said? "You have arrived to the big leagues now". Haha! It's a sad state indeed. Congratulations on your almost two years. Most don't make it past the three month mark!

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thank you, Mary K. for your kind words of support. They mean a great deal to me. It is sad that people do these things. Hope you have a wonderful day!

Sharon said...

Your blog post is full of powerful words, Debbie! I applaud your strength and courage to stand up to those who don't have anything better to do than send unkind and hurtful remarks. Your blog is always a breath of fresh air to me, and I'm sure to other followers as well. I support your journey to follow your passions as you discover and continue those things that you most enjoy.

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thank you, Sharon. Your words of support mean a great deal to me. Thank you for following my blog.

Karen said...

This is pretty heavy. I was reading it wondering what anyone can find to say that is negative about what you are writing about. And men? Really? The way I see it, having read your posts for some time now, this has to come from some truly unhappy/angry people. Something is amiss in their lives that they respond with such negativity. I have always enjoyed how you keep things real. I see you in the pictures and it is refreshing that you are so authentic. You see so many blogs where the women writing them are in brand new things every single day, designer this and that, high end this and that, only shop in certain places, and it just isn't something I can relate to. I like to stay current with fashion so I see what people are wearing, but in my world I have to find a way to do it on a budget. As for the content of your blog, why do people read and comment if it bothers them so much? This is why I think it comes from a place of anger at something in their own lives. Life is full of the negative, and some people are naturally that way it seems. When I'm around it (and sometimes you are with a friend and you just want to be supportive), I try to remember to count my blessings. That might sound trite, but it takes me past the negative talk that might be going on, and when I depart from such conversations I try to pray for the person and about the situation. There are a lot of negative things in the world, just the way it is, but I think we have to do what we can to rise above it and fill our minds with more positive thoughts. There is a lot of good too, and it's worth it to focus on that. For all those negative people who respond for whatever reason, just remember how many women really appreciate your message and your authenticity! There are lots of us out here!!

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thank you, Karen, for your very kind words and support! Your words mean so much to me!! I do want to be seen as authentic on my blog and your words confirm that for me. I think that you are right...the people who write these things are in an angry place. I don't understand it myself. I'm told that there are "trolls" who do this all the time and get some degree of joy from saying mean things and/or upsetting other people. Hard to believe. I also thank you for the reminder to pray for these folks and for the anger in their lives. Have a wonderful day and welcome home from your trip! :)