why i’m turning off my blog comments (the universe made me do it)

Why I'm turning OFF my blog comments (via LivLane.com)

After a lot of thought, I’ve made a big decision: I’m turning off the comments on my blog (actually, the Universe already did)…and I hope you understand.

When I first started blogging in 2006, there was no such thing as social media. (Hard to believe, right!?) I would write and publish a post, people would leave comments and I would frequently respond asap. That was it. A sweet community of positive interaction.

But as blogging grew and social media exploded, getting comments from readers and followers practically became a sport – more about competition than connection. How many kazillion people can you get to read or like or comment on your update, rather than how might courageously sharing your story impact even one person? I’ve fallen into that trap many times over the years and it was rarely fulfilling.

Looking back, my favorite posts are still the ones I wrote when it was just me telling my truth, hoping someone out there might gain some strength or insight from it – but being okay with maybe never knowing that they did.

Satisfaction in the sharing, detachment from the outcome.

For me, there is something really intimate about engaging in this virtual space, this place that feels like a second home to me. Over the past year, that feeling has been magnified as I’ve shared the really real and vulnerable parts of my life, and offered insights into my connection with the spiritual realm. Even though the feedback has been overwhelmingly kind, the comment section here has felt a little bit like having a peanut gallery in my living room. I have sensed it, occasionally, impacting what and how I share. And I have felt guilty about not responding quickly or thoughtfully enough. And, yes, I’ve felt my shoulders sag on days when there are no comments to respond to. Too much ego wrangling for me. Eliminating the comments feels like the healthiest move for me at this time.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to connect. More than ever, I am loving the ease and community building of social media circles. On Facebook, for instance, I can share the link to a new post (or share art, a photo, a video, etc) and then get on with my day. I can return to Facebook later, when there’s a little distance between me and the emotions or energy around what I shared, and I feel better prepared to receive and respond to your feedback and shares. Seeing that a post has collected a whole bunch of “likes” makes me feel good, for sure. But more importantly, I think, the brevity of social media provides a good balance to the deep sharing I tend to do here on the blog.

Now, here’s how I know for sure this is the best decision for me and my blog. I had been hemming and hawing over shutting off the comments for several weeks. Then, after publishing a post here, I received a note from a dear reader: she’d tried to leave a comment, but kept getting an error message saying ‘this page no longer exists.’ When I checked the blog, none of the comments were working on any of the posts. Ha! Apparently, since I kept dragging my feet, the Universe stepped in and took care of things for me! Love that little vote of confidence from the powers that be.

I hope you understand. I hope you still feel welcome here. And I really hope we can still connect (Facebook is great, and I’m loving Instagram, too).

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How To Build a Blog You Truly Love: The eBook via LivLane.comSpeaking of blogging, I’m excited to let you know that the ecourse I ran for three years – How To Build a Blog You Truly Love – is now available as a 310-page ebook! Yep, we talk a lot about comments…but far more about finding your blog’s purpose, your authentic voice, your perfect design, your confidence, your courage to promote, your ability to make money and so much more. Check out all the details over here.

honoring the hard parts

ready for school? inside one family's journey. #specialneeds

Over the past several weeks, I have written this post a million times in my head. But I’ve avoided writing it…not sure how to say it, embarrassed by my hesitancy, wrestling with how it might come across.

My baby turned five last week. FIVE. Yesterday, I asked Truman how he got so tall and he just lifted up his hand and showed me all five fingers, flashing his giant grin. He knows he’s five and he’s pretty darn proud.

He does not know, however, that he’s a little different from a lot of other five year olds. He doesn’t realize yet that other five year olds will go to kindergarten in the fall; he doesn’t even know what that is yet.

Two and half years ago, we had Tru assessed for speech issues; he was a giggly snuggle-bug but was hardly saying any words. We had speech therapists come to our home…and they sent more therapists…and after a few months, we had a meeting to get the results of their evaluations. I can still feel myself standing in the parking lot with Brad after that meeting, feeling stunned by the news about our boy. It wasn’t just his speech. It was cognitive. It was social-emotional. It was sensory. It was motor skills. It was probably autism. And there was no instruction booklet for any of it.

It felt like jumping hurdles at first – leaping over barriers like superheroes, trying to beat the clock with early intervention and nourish his little brain as much as possible. Deep down, I hoped it would be enough to just make all the D words go away: delays, deficiency, disorder. Maybe we could cure him. Maybe we could make him the poster boy for early intervention. Irrational, maybe. But that’s how I get through the muck: I focus on the positive, I remind myself that anything is possible. And you know what? That boy has made such great progress, he really has. Every little milestone feels like a victory, so I share them with loved ones, and sometimes on Facebook, or maybe on the blog. Celebrating my sweet boy feels good.

But lately, I’m allowing myself to feel something else, too. 

Last week, we went to a birthday party for a friend. Tru delighted in helping blow out the candles, but refused to eat the cake (or the dinner beforehand, for that matter). We had to explain, as we often do, that he only eats a handful of foods – and that we packed some just in case. “That’s got to be hard,” one guest said. And instead of brushing it under the rug and slapping a smiley face on the situation, I nodded and inhaled the words.

Yes, I thought. This is hard.

Not knowing what sensory trigger might rock his world – from food to sound to a scratchy shirt – is hard. Changing a five year old’s diaper is hard. Reading all the things he has yet to accomplish is hard. Not knowing what the future holds for our precious boy is really hard. Parenting a child with special needs is no walk in the park – so maybe I should stop pretending it is.

When I admit this to myself and allow you to see it, too – that it’s not all happy times here – my eyes start to burn with hot tears. I have spent so long hiding the hard parts that they’re all backed up, waiting just beneath the surface, demanding equal time. I want you to think I’m a good mom. I want him to think I’m a good mom. I don’t want to be a downer…or a whiner…or a victim.

And maybe leaning into the grief will be okay…even do me some good. Maybe nurturing myself through the struggles will make me stronger, not weaker. Maybe I can celebrate the good parts and acknowledge the rough spots – and still be the mama Tru needs. Fingers crossed, heart thumping. This is hard.

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This post is part of a Brave Blogging Link-Up I’m hosting for participants in the current run of my How To Build a Blog You Truly Love ecourse. They’re stepping outside their comfort zones today, sharing courageous posts. Please click on any below to visit them and celebrate their bravery…