As I sit here at 3:12 am the same question pops into my head. Earlier I had been noticing that people online don't seem to relate to me anymore. The once rich conversations and friendships I had built seemed to have dwindled down to nothing. I wondered why and started to look back to a time when I felt like I was sharing more of myself.
I realized that during those times I didn't care what people thought of what I said. I just wanted to get my thoughts and feelings out there. Maybe someone else was feeling that way too and we could strike up a discussion and help each other out.
As someone who is highly sensitive and guarded about myself, I thought back to childhood and realized this has always been the case. I was a very quiet child and I liked to be by myself. I felt no one would understand me and that what I had to say would not interest anyone. I isolated myself and had very few friends. This felt very comforting and I realize it was my internal Linus blanket. A way to stay safe from those who might criticize and correct me.
As I started on my spiritual path awhile back I got excited about all the cool things that were happening to me. I started sharing more of that in some of the personal Facebook groups I was in and felt happy because other like minded people in those groups understood me and the things I was talking about. I felt safe and thought to expand and open up to a broader audience. I started writing and sharing more outside of those groups and it felt liberating.
Then one morning, I received a personal message from a Facebook "friend". She said she was concerned about me because of all the things I had been writing. She didn't think anyone was understanding me and that they thought I was weird. She also expressed concerns for how my family was taking all of this. She told me she was certain that they weren't taking it well. She even said "I hope you make it out of this with your family intact."
At that moment I immediately got deflated. Even though I realized she was coming from some place I didn't want to be and that what she said was pure crap, I internalized it. I let it unconsciously eat at me. I started to doubt myself and my abilities. And I stopped sharing. I also began to develop serious stress related skin and digestive issues. Everything was either breaking my skin out or causing stomach upset. I never connected that until now.
As an empath I also take on other peoples emotions and feelings. I let this person's anger and doubt about themselves attach itself to me. And it's taken me most of this year to figure that out and come to a conclusion. I don't want to stop sharing. I'm a creative person and a sprititual teacher among many other wonderful things. Plus something I share may mean something to someone else. It may help them feel better or not so alone. It may brighten their day or make them laugh. It may keep them from harming themselves or inspire them to reach out and create too.
So I've decided, no more hiding behind fear of ridicule. No more making myself less than to please others. If someone doesn't like what I have to share then they don't need to read or they can unfollow, unfriend, or simply look away. I am moving forward with part of my life's purpose which is to be a teacher and a healer and my medium is words and feelings, thoughts, and dialogue. So expect to see and read more from me as I reopen the lines of communication. I hope to see and speak with you there.