Every once in awhile I ask myself if writing this blog is still worth the time and energy it takes to do it. At those times – and in between as well – I look at the statistics. Yes, I can tell how many people read what I write each day and once in awhile someone leaves a comment about what s/he has read. In addition, there is a way to ascertain where readers live – by country. That is the most amazing part of this endeavor as it shows me the reach of the “worldwide web.” Who would have thought that someone in Norway and/or Azerbaijan would be reading my simple morning musings! I generally remain unfazed by all of this information but occasionally realize I am worrying when the bar graph shows a dip or the number on the blog page says someone stopped “following.” Those are the moments when I usually hear gratitude from someone – especially someone I don’t know – who leaves a supportive comment and I breathe a sigh of relief.
I was made aware of this tendency to judge my practice by listening to other voices when I picked up Meg Wheatley’s book this morning. On a page called “Praise and Blame” she writes:
There is absolutely no way to avoid being criticized. Nobody gets through life described as totally wonderful. The question is, what do we do with criticism?…Do we assume that a criticism of something we’ve done is a condemnation of who we are? Or can we filter criticism and keep it focused as perhaps valuable but bounded information? Can we look for the kernels of truth there that might help us improve? Can we not instantly push criticism away, yet not accept it totally? And can we treat praise the same way? (Perseverance, p.65)
I think I’m closer to healthy answers to the above questions than I would have been in my younger days, but it was a good reality check. I trust that I will continue to write the blog as long as it feels right and then will let it go without regret and with gratitude to God, the author of it all.