Of course, leading up to the day it was to be posted, I felt pretty hesitant. What if no one comments? What if I've offended someone somehow? What if they decide at the last minute not to post it?
On the day the post was scheduled, we were walking around Athens in a sleepy fog, then in the evening we flew to Dubrovnik, Croatia. I peeked at the post when I could - in the Athens airport. Then when we arrived in Dubrovnik I fought sleep for an extra few hours so I could respond to comments.
And my oh my, the women who commented are amazing. They shared about their experiences of losing loved ones - babies, mothers, husbands - heart-wrenching, yet they opened themselves up vulnerably to tell their stories and to offer encouragement and support. I think I cried reading every single comment.
I just wanted to note how rewarding it was to share with the internet world and to receive love in return. I know it doesn't always happen this way, especially in writing and online, but from what I've seen and experienced, that (in)courage community is gold.
It's reminded me of Ben's PhD dissertation commitment to do everything he could to encourage his classmates and bring them along in the midst of a competitive university environment. For example, if he finds out about a scholarship or receives tips on getting published, he shares those with his classmates instead of holding on to opportunities for himself. He's coached his classmates through their proposal defenses and supports them when they feel they can't go on.
It's like that in the blogging world, in writing, and simply in friendships. Sometimes there can be jealousy, competition, me-firstness... these things can creep their stinking heads. But what a joy to give and receive genuine encouragement.
Risky sharing for the sake of showing love.
|This is me in Athens - can you tell I haven't slept in about 24 hours?|