What Are My Motives

A while back a friend questioned my blog. His theory was that I blog for myself. I blog to get thoughts out of my head and onto something solid. But the biggest accusation was that I blog because I am self-centered.

I don’t always take comments like this at face value but in this case I thought I should think about it. How often am I writing about myself and when I do write about myself is it really in order to help others who are facing the same issue or am I just self indulging? While thinking about this I thought about a conversation I had with my son about charity. My son’s theory is that there is no selfless charity because no matter what you are giving, you are always getting something in return, even if it is just a feeling of accomplishment.

Months later I realize I may have given this whole line of thought too much attention, because after a full year of writing here part-time at best, I have come to realize that what has been stopping me is not a lack of time or commitment but a serious questioning of my motives. If I am writing for myself, am I truly helping anybody else?

I would like to think, maybe I choose to think, that the wonderful note I received from a friend this weekend, telling me how much of a difference I have made in her life is the answer. This note sparked memories, memories of other notes, posts and letters from readers who have shared their struggles and triumphs with me. Notes that have given me more credit than I deserve for getting them to the starting line or the finishing line of races, helping them see they are not alone in their struggle with depression or helping them to feel free to ask for help.

Does the fact that I do help others mean I am not self-centered? I don’t know. I do spend an awful lot of time analyzing moments in my life, looking for stories in those moments and in turn looking for lessons to be learned from those stories. But is that a bad thing? Again, I am not sure. Maybe, maybe I could help people through their struggles in a different way, but I don’t know where I would begin. What I do know is that when I hear about someone else’s journey, their struggles and their triumphs I am always looking for the life lessons for myself. It is through others’ stories that I learn lessons for my own life. It is how I process. It is what works for me.

When I started this blog, I started it as a means to make myself write. After a few short weeks I realize how many people are looking for the same answers I am looking for. How many people are feeling overweight, not able to meet their goals, afraid of taking that first step. I could have continued to write the way I did in the beginning, telling funny stories about my kids or my latest race, but it didn’t seem right. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to turn my stories into lessons. The perfect time to look for answers. Sometimes those lessons help me. Sometimes they help others. Either way, it seems like someone is winning and isn’t winning a good thing.

ReadingAnn BrennanComment