Today I came across an article on social media about a picture that has gone viral of a father in the shower with his child. The picture was taken by the mother of the child and posted to her social media page explaining that she thought the picture was beautiful because of why her husband was in the shower with her son. The son had been sick with fever all day and the father got in the shower with him to cool him off as a way to bring his temperature to normal. The comments ranged from people defending her to people thinking she's the wicked witch of the west (or was it the east?) Either way, it sparked something with people. Now, that mother shared a very intimate picture of 2 people she loved with all the best intentions but she is now forced to defend her husband, her son and their life. That's a dilemma I'm having today.
I have had a journal since I was 14. Growing up in a huge family meant not being allowed to express ourselves. My grandparents and mother had too much on their plates to worry about the idle thoughts of a teen. And then I was introduced to writing, not as a boring school subject, but as a means by which I could finally be heard! I remember taking creative writing under the leadership of Mrs. Henderson at Bowie Middle School. She would make us write using different colors. Every paragraph had to be in a different color. The topics ranged from silly to serious but I loved her class. I looked forward to seeing Mrs. Henderson every other day because through her class, I was able to have a voice. My 14th birthday, after my mother got tired of me using up all our notebooks for my random rants, she bought me a journal. Those journals held some of deepest teen secrets and issues. I was completely myself through my writing, no filter.
Fast forward to 2016, I still have a journal, several of them now. They are a collection of the growth of Shelia. Some I wish I didn't write but others I go back and read and can remember exactly what I was doing at that time. With the start of me blogging came the dilemma. How much of my life do I really want to open to criticism and judgment? How do I tell my stories without exploiting the people I love most? How do I discuss my marriage to inspire people without it being looked at negatively? How often do I want to include pictures of my husband and son when I've been reluctant to share that part of me since his conception? My husband has a career that is important to him and to me. How do I include him in this journey without risking everything he's worked hard for? That's what I'm thinking about tonight as I think of that mother who simply wanted to share the beauty she saw in THAT moment. Moments are meant to be shared, sometimes. But there's also something so beautiful about just having those moments between the people that were there.
I talked to my sister Chetoria about my dilemma tonight and she said "write about the things you love and move you."
The world is wide open and I'm jumping into this with my heart open. Tonight, whatever dilemma you're facing, I challenge you to just breathe and let go. There's something amazing waiting for you after the jump. I trust that now more than ever.