The other day I made a choice to search for inspirational bloggers that I would like to follow or other inspiring bloggers that may be networking so I could join forces. My search led me to a huge list of sites, most of which were bloggers who had compiled lists of other bloggers. “Top 20 Inspiring Bloggers”… “10 Bloggers Who Inspire” … “25 Bloggers to Follow.”
I followed some of the links, feeling hopeful that I would find some fabulous reads.
I was actually disappointed.
Mostly because every single blog that was listed was listed because the blogger had massive drama/trauma going on in their life and they were either currently surviving it or had survived it.
I was curious about my response to the lists. I actually groaned as I read one of them. This one was a Top 10 list and it was filled with bloggers who had partners who had died traumatically and they were all raising several special needs children. Just reading the descriptions of the bloggers left me with a sour taste in my mouth and I began wondering… to be inspiring, do you HAVE to have lived (or currently be living) an incredibly dramatic and trauma-filled life? What about the people who have had incredibly loving lives that have been devoid of mayhem, murder, and misery? Are they not inspiring?
I’ve been thinking about that a lot. Especially because I am part of the self-empowerment movement and I’m involved in the healing arts and I attend seminars/events on an on-going basis that are all focused on inspiring people to fulfill their purpose. My definition of an inspiring person is one who is able to fire people up to do something they never thought they could before, something they have may thought was impossible, something that no one else has ever tried. An inspiring person is someone who sees in others the divine spark that is their soul and holds that spark sacred, breathing on it until it has become a flame so that the person can see it themselves.
It’s different than motivation. For me, motivational people are people who support others in doing what they already know they can do (or that they have to do). People who motivate others provide the space for other people to follow in their footsteps, to do something that has already been done before.
So… in light of that… I kept wondering about this seemingly apparent link to suffering and inspiration.
While I have had my fair share of trauma and drama – my first book, Above the Clouds goes into depth about this – that trauma and drama is not my usual “come from.” It is my story, but it is not who I am. And, while I understand that the trauma and drama touted on those Top-Whatever lists was just a way of explaining why those bloggers were inspirational, it seemed to really be focused on how bad their lives had been and somehow, the more extreme their misery had been, the more inspiring they could be.
I beg to differ.
I have spent a lot of time in the presence of people – women, especially – who glow vibrantly with the Light of their Purpose. They are powerfully inspiring and, for most of them, I have no idea what their “back story” is. They are simply inspiring because they are living their truth. Now those bloggers may also be living their truth, but there is something that puts me off when the lead in to their inspiration comes through the oft-repeated negative aspects of the story of their life. While I understand that the nation’s top coaches who coach top coaches are all saying “Your Mess is Your Message”… there is something so wrong about that. I can’t quite place it right now.
I understand that speakers (bloggers) who allow themselves to be vulnerable on stage and show their tender underbellies, revealing their guck that has been part of their path to where they are now creates a tangible connection with their audience. For me, though, the most inspirational speakers have not led with their crap or focused on their crap for their presentation. Some of them haven’t even aired their dirty laundry in public, ever, as far as I know and… I still find them inspiring.
So, I ask you… what is your definition of “inspiring” and how do you inspire others?
I always welcome your thoughts, questions, and comments.
Feel free to jot down what you’re thinking in the comment box below.