Perhaps it is because people seem so bent on proving other people wrong. It's not about exchanging ideas or sharing a different perspective. It's about passion. Whoever yells the loudest and can get the most friends rallied to their cause wins.
I thought it was stupid in grade school when mutual nemeses started lunchtime fights, and it hasn't gotten any more attractive in full grown adults. I think that's a big part of why I haven't been participating in blogging much any more. I don't comment nearly as much, I don't even write that much. I'm just over it.
Blogging lends itself to contention. The more divisive an issue, the more reward the original poster gets in the form of hit numbers and comments. Fewer people want to hear about real-life applications of faith, or forgiveness in the midst of struggles, which are the things I desperately need to hear about right now.
Up until now, I still dipped my toes into the water now and then, but for the most part it hasn't been worth it. Which is why I've asked to be removed from the Mormon Archipelago blogroll. I have no idea how long it will take before my blog is unlisted, but I'm done commenting, done reading, done discussing. There are a few blogs that I'll still watch from my personal blogroll (right), but I'm paring those down, too.
Partly, this comes from the new place I have found myself. Enough things have beaten me up in life that I've just lost my will to go on fighting for hope and faith. I fully intend to continue to live my life as I have, because I know that I had the passion for it at one time, and still have a smidgeon of hope that I will again. Living life as a disciple of Christ is hard. I'm far from a good example of one, but still I try. Constantly monitoring my motivations and behavior, trying my best to respond with kindness in the face of animosity despite how deeply such words abrade my already-pulverized heart, has drained me far past my resources. I'm living in emotional bankruptcy and no longer giving out loans. Or gifts.
I think this is a larger outgrowth of my dating hiatus. Dating has been an extension of my experiences with marriage, where I am seen as an object to fulfill men's needs and desires, not as a person with validity in my own right. And when I comment on blogs, I've tried so hard to extend benefit of the doubt, to open up the raw and vulnerable places in my heart in order to share some of the things I have learned through my wounds. And the reaction is invariably to dispense more lashings. It is probably because I fail thoroughly at communication, just like my marriage. I just can't seem to phrase things in a way that doesn't offend.
And I'm so weary of trying to not give offense at the same time that I'm trying so hard to not be offended. It's exhausting on every level.
What I want to do from here on out is write without fear of the reactions my words will garner. Rather than feeling unable to speak the words of my heart because I don't know how to word them properly, or because I am ignorant in certain ways, I want to pour out my heart in the equivalent of public prayer. Not because I'm exhibitionist, but because I am hoping that by witnessing some small part of my struggle to form a relationship with God others will be inspired to do the same, or will gain hope for their own difficulties in the endeavor.
The more experienced I get, the more I am convinced that salvation is a group effort. No one is saved alone. The struggles of others to learn how to love an ultimately incomprensible God can grant me insight in my own struggle. And hopefully, the reverse is also true. We can be edified and rejoice together, holding hands as sisters and brothers in this journey through the hardships in fulfilling the Plan of Exaltation. We can bind up each others' broken hearts, and find joy in it.