This business of sharing your heart online is tricky.

In my seven (!!!) years of writing here, there have been a few roadblocks. Things other than time, technology, and topics. Those things are everchanging and rotating, but not new. No, these are roadblocks that haven’t changed. They are the same things that trip me up time and time again, rendering me silent and wordless. What’s more, I tend to stand back and let them steamroll me mute. They turn into word bullies, stealing my outlet and joy, and causing anxiety.

It’s time to fight.

How do you fight a bully? Growing up, there was a bully who lived on our street. He was textbook:  overlooked by family, bullied himself by them, and hurting enough to take his feelings out on the perceived weak. Some of his favorite targets were me & my siblings. One day – I think I was seven – I’d had enough of him, and after he teased and pushed my little brother, I straight popped him one, right on the nose! It wasn’t the last time I stood up to someone bullying another, but as for the ones who fought me, I wasn’t so brave. But I’m in the process of being kinder to myself, and it’s time for this fight. I’m not sure how to deal with faceless bullies of the heart, but I think the first step is to call them out by name.

On Fighting Faceless Bullies | girlwithblog.com

1.  Stage Fright

Without fail. I can have a post pour from my heart, or have one embedded deep and want voice given it, and suddenly all cohesive words leave my brain as I realize that PEOPLE will READ MY WORDS. The fright doesn’t come from the friends who live in my computer, but in the friends and acquaintances in my offline life that will read, who know me, will see me, and talk to me. Makes me want to hide under a rock. Because there is safety in anonymity. There is safety in a screen, but there is joy in being known – frightening as the reveal may be. There is beauty in being known. And there is safety in the One who already knows and loves each and every hair, thought, and action.

2.  Comparison

Someone else will say this same thing more eloquently. Someone else has the reach to get their word out farther. Someone else has more followers/RT’s/comments. Someone else will do a better job with this message, God, because I am small and untrained and not enough. Someone else. Sometimes it takes someone small to do something big (um, exhibit A.) He has given me words time and time again, and I’m ashamed of the times I’ve pushed them down because of someone else. He has also given me friends, online and off, and at times my jealousy of them rusts my heart. Of cool opportunities, follows, talent, you name it. Except to Him, there is no comparison. To Him, there is only me. To me, there is Him, and my husband, and my kids, and my friends, and my online crew… when what I am craving is just to be enough to the One who decides it is – I am – enough. He rejoices over me when no one else does. And that has got to be enough for my heart, or the striving will never cease.

3.  Fear

It’s evident that the culmination of each of these roadblocks is fear. Fear of:

  • how people will react to me in real life
  • people’s negative thoughts about me
  • others realizing that I’m not enough – smart enough, good enough, insert your adjective here enough
  • sharing my ugly, tarnished, near-forgotten stories

These are some of my fears. They’re not pretty yet I wear them as adornments, unable to remove them because there is comfort in what we know – even if what we know is a danger to our souls. We are promised freedom (and here and here and here), but it can be hard to claim.

——

There they are. My roadblocks. When I’m silent in this space, you can bet it’s because of one of these three things. These are the enemies of my words. These are the things I will {try to} no longer allow to block my voice, my fingertips from the keyboard. I’m not sure where to go from here, or what’s next in the process of fighting the bullies, but this is a start.

Have faceless bullies in your heart kept you silent? 

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Greetings friend, welcome to the fence...

In case we haven't met, I'm Anna. I'd love to chat over a picket fence in the backyard, but this will do for now. Let's make it easy to stay connected - simply enter your email below to get the latest posts in your inbox. We'll talk real life, real faith, real motherhood, and real encouragement. Oh, and just so you know, I'll keep your email to myself.

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