I Started an Anonymous Blog

I don’t want to bore y’all with my navel-gazing (Lord knows there’s enough of that on this blog as it is) and I wanted a place where I could hit “publish” on a few introspection-in-process things, rather than edit and chew and remix ad nauseam. You can try to find it if you like but good luck! I’ve hidden it pretty well.

But anyway, some of those ruminations have got me wondering. What degree of introspection is actually helpful? I’ve never managed to get the balance right between living in my head and living in the world — I’ve gotten to the point where I actually do value my inner life and see it as a God-given respite from the craziness of reality rather than as procrastination or denial, but I tend to overthink, tend to play out hypotheticals and “what-ifs” forever. What level of “real-ifying” my thoughts onto a page or a screen is therapeutic, helps me work through things, causes me to love Jesus more? And what is damaging, causes me to dwell on my own vain imaginings, turns my mind away from my Savior?

If you understand any of the above blather, please share: your thoughts and experiences would be most helpful.

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7 thoughts on “I Started an Anonymous Blog

  1. I guess that back in the day people used diaries for that.

    Personally, I think introspection is helpful if it gets you somewhere – to an understanding, to a realisation, to an acceptance, or to something else. It’s not really helpful if you go round the same track over and over.

    Perhaps the least helpful track is “what if I had done X?” – more useful questions are “what does God say about Y?” and “next time should I do Z?”

    And sometimes you just have to forget the introspection and get out into the non-crazy parts of the world God made, and smell the roses. Which is a little hard in the Northern winter, I guess.

    Sometimes also, friends will see in minutes what it would take months of introspection to discover: O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us, To see oursels as ithers see us! It wad frae mony a blunder free us, An’ foolish notion.

  2. I’m thinking as I write, which could be ironic or something… I think the helpfulness of introspection differs for different people – perhaps a good first question is, what are you like when you are at your most introspective? Is it helpful for yourself? For other people? Is it damaging or limiting for yourself? For other people? For me, the damage isn’t so much in self-absorption or a returning-to-your-own-vomit cycle that I can imagine some suffering from, but rather that my introspection can steal my time and heart from the people around me. But now I read your post again, I see that you have identified some stuff you need to steer clear of – so perhaps you need to work out some way to cut off from introspection when it’s no longer serving you well.

    As for giving written expression to your thoughts, you probably just need to have a go at different levels of ruminating and sharing, and watch yourself to see if it’s helpful or not. Good friends may be able to read your blog and tell straightaway if what you’re writing is good for you. And unlike what goes on in the relative privacy of your mind, the other thing you need to consider is whether your written thoughts are helpful for your readers – an anonymous blog can be helpful – but don’t forget that actual people may end up reading it!

    One thing I haven’t mentioned is that the quality of your introspection can change. You might be an extremely introspective person all your days, but where you once were negative and bitter, now your thoughts are full of wonder and other-person-centredness.

    • I would like to officially request that you comment WAY more often, Fiona. So helpful and exactly what I was trying to work my way toward. Thanks a million.

  3. What a great thought-provoker youi’ve given us here, Laura. For some reason Ecclesiastes 2 came to mind:

    12 Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom,
    and also madness and folly.
    What more can the king’s successor do
    than what has already been done?
    13 I saw that wisdom is better than folly,
    just as light is better than darkness.
    14 The wise have eyes in their heads,
    while the fool walks in the darkness;
    but I came to realize
    that the same fate overtakes them both.
    15 Then I said to myself,
    “The fate of the fool will overtake me also.
    What then do I gain by being wise?”
    I said to myself,
    “This too is meaningless.”
    16 For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered;
    the days have already come when both have been forgotten.
    Like the fool, the wise too must die!

    But then again, I also came upon Ecclesiastes 8:1 – Who is like the wise? Who knows the explanation of things? A person’s wisdom brightens their face and changes its hard appearance. And the concluding remarks at 12:9-10 are really encouraging for those of us who find ourselves contemplating things at length (and, for me at least, sometimes ad nauseum!) – Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.

    So apparently pondering can be glorifying to God and edifying to his people. I guess this long comment is my way of saying you should go for it with gusto, Laura! And if you come up with something that looks good, I hope you’ll impart your knowledge to us people here at your non-anonymous blogsite.

    Cheers,
    Tim

    • I had to come back and post this quote I just read:

      A sound mind … that is devoted to piety and love of truth will eagerly meditate upon those things that God has placed within the power of mankind and has subjected to our knowledge.”
      Irenaeus, Against Heresies

  4. Laura, I stumbled upon your blog through Boundless last month. I saw it and thought, “I should try that.” I set up my own blog with WordPress and kept it private at first. Now I am completely addicted, and I’m rediscovering my love for writing. The blog is helping me process things better than my journals did. The journals are a mess of my thoughts and complaints, often hurriedly poured out before bed. On the blog, I try to make sure that all of my posts relate to my theme, joy, and that they are well-written and worth publishing to the world. I also want to be able to go back to them to remember lessons that I have learned. In a way, they are “preaching to myself.” At this point in my life, I have been taking a lot of time for introspection, and the blog helps me put my spinning thoughts to rest, at least for a time. So thank you for inspiring me to start blogging!

    I agree that it is hard to define what degree of introspection is actually helpful. I think different people are going to be more or less introspective at different times of their lives. Introspection can be necessary to face reality, but as you alluded to, it can also turn us away from reality. I think that for me personally, I need to set aside time for prayer, reflection, and writing. Otherwise, I cannot focus on the responsibilities of my life, because I get so distracted by introspective thoughts.

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