In my blogging life, I’ve been honest, sincere, snarky, forthright, sappy, and stupid–sometimes all at once. I’ve even been a douche a time, or two (or three, or four).
But if I get right down to it, employ some of that random transparency that’s cropped up from time-to-time, a lot of what I’ve done has been motivated by simple fear:
Fear of not being accepted
Fear of being left out
Fear of being outside
The picture above comes from a book called The Quotable Lewis, a collection of CS Lewis’s writings arranged by topic. In 1944, he delivered a sermon (called “The Inner Ring”) to college students that was later collected in his book The Weight of Glory.
It is that last line that kills me:
“Until you conquer the fear of being an outsider, an outsider you will remain.”
Nearly a quarter century have I walked with Jesus, and still that fear remains. And a hypocrite, too:
I tell my thirteen year-old son “Cool is not a virtue, not something to be sought,” and yet I want to fit in with those I perceive to be the “cool kids” in the blogosphere. Is it any wonder that he struggles to find his niche (just like his dad does)?
It was upon reading the Lewis passage above this morning that it dawned on me why I’ve been so unsuccessful (where I perceive others as more successful) in making the much-vaunted networking connections:
My fear, and the things it has motivated me to do. I don’t know how to get past it….
Because instead of making connections, I’ve tried to penetrate the inner ring–and found it empty.
Because my basis was fear, I sought to get inside for the sake of being inside.
As Lewis so adroitly states: there is value, no fellowship, no friendship in that.
I’m laying bear my heart here, folks. What do you think?
The fact of the matter is: you–the world–don’t need me to be “cool,” you want me to be me. Because the truth is: folks online are looking for the same thing they are in real life: honesty.
Have you ever let fear lead you to places you shouldn’t go?