A Hard Look In the Mirror

Those of you who read my blog probably know this blog title is overdue.  Perhaps I can put "think before you speak!" on my dh's forehead?  I say that jokingly, but honestly as well.  I know that it won't happen overnight, but I do plan on making some changes.  Patience please.  We are all works in progress and I am no exception.
My words, like all of ours, have rippling effects. 
I have passion.  I have experiences I want to share.  I want to help others.  These are good things about me.
I also talk a lot, listen too little, speak without thinking sometimes, and don't always realize the weight of my words.  These are things I need to work on.
When I give speeches (at Creighton Symposiums, at our church's intro sessions, at engaged encounter weekends), I always start with the fact that I am not a good public speaker.  But I try.  I am present, and I do my best.  I pray that God will speak through me.  I hope that other's hear the message, despite the imperfect and rusty tool.
However, I think I have used that as a crutch for too long (and have developed additional disclaimers-I don't articulate well; I didn't proofread this but just sent it quickly, etc).  If these are struggles of mine, what am I doing about them?  I need to put time into my public speaking, into my writing.  I need to figure out what to do to become more articulate.  Lately, I realize I have just been saying that and then moving on like anything is acceptable since I have made that disclaimer.
I realize when I put forth a strong opinion, I might offend people.  I am not a people pleaser in that I don't just say yes or what people want to hear because they want to hear it.  I have always been a "what you see is what you get" person and used to say that was good because no one worried where they stood with me.  I was honest to a fault.  But, there is a way to go about sharing ideas that can interest people and there is a way that can turn people off forever.  I certainly do not want to do the latter.  And people with IF, particularly, can be in difficult situations and struggling.  And I would never ever ever want to make those situations harder and cause pain to anyone.
It is okay if people disagree with my opinions.  I welcome varying opinions on my blog.  Truely.  And feedback on my opinions.  If you disagree with me, but don't want to share it publicly, I invite you to comment anonymously or email me privately.  I am not big on debate, because I think that is about "winning" and not about "learning", but I have been getting excellent feedback lately that I really value.  Sometimes feedback might change my opinion.  Other times it may just change my wording or approach. 
Blogging has been eye opening.  In some cases, people who have not met me IRL have thought I am different than I perceive myself.  They can only think that because that is what I have put out there, most likely, so I need to think about how I represent myself.
I appreciate those that have contacted me privately, or been responsive to my contacts to them.


Sissy said...

I haven't been reading that long, but you haven't offended me at all. I think that's the thing about blogs: it's not required reading. If someone doesn't like how you write or what you say, they don't have to read. I think your blog is a place for you to be you!

Leila said...

Ditto what Sissy said. I have found you to be wonderful. Not in the least bit offensive! Keep up the great work!!!!

Life In Mazes said...

Please just be yourself here, I know I haven't been offended.

In fact, a comment you made on one of my posts the other day helped me to keep perspective and trust God no matter the outcome. Thanks!

Good luck with trying this cycle! will be praying for your growing family!

WheelbarrowRider said...

Thanks for the support and kind comments. I'd like to think I have helped more people than I have hurt, but that doesn't mean I haven't hurt the ones I have, and it doesn't mean I haven't potentially turned people off, which saddens me. The constructive criticism that was delivered very kind AND warranted. Some of it was based on emails you haven't seen so you will have to trust me. I will continue to be myself, and spread the message I believe in, both on the blog and via email, but I will try to think (and pray!) more before I speak. These are delicate situations we are dealing with for sure! LIM, I am so glad to hear that. Trusting God's plan for you is the #1 message I want to share. Everything else I share is 2nd to that. Like the song, we NEVER leave His hands. I love that!

Cathy said...

Right on. This is your blog and your home. You can say whatever is on your mind. If it offends, no one has to read.

WheelbarrowRider said...

I have a phrase I think is from Dr. Seuss? "Those that matter don't mind and those that mind don't matter." This is not applicable in this situation. These are people I respect. My error comes from a good place, passion, but nonetheless temperance is necessary!

Sissy said...

I guess I can understand. I do take care with what I write about my husband, family or job, but otherwise, I just let it all hang out. But I applaud your efforts to continue to improve!!

Fertile Thoughts said...

Hey there! I haven't been offended at all either. If anything I admire how out spoken you are and upfront. I really wish I could be more like that. It would be so nice just to be able to speak what was on my mind. It really can be a gift, so don't be to hard on yourself ;)


the misfit said...

Yeah, I don't find you offensive. But working on public speaking is always developing a worthwhile skill. And diplomacy too - frankly, I'm less blunt than I used to be, but maybe more harsh. I could probably stand to tone it down myself.

mrsblondies said...

I don't find you offensive. It's great, though, that you are wanting to work on being honest but in a diplomatic and thoughtful way.