Blog⋅mo⋅sis – noun 1. the tendency of knowledge, wisdom, talent, or status in life, to pass through a barrier (computer screen or book) from those who have to those who want, thus equalizing the knowledge, wisdom, talent and state of life of both parties.
Recently, a friend of mine was in the midst of a particularly difficult season of marriage. While trying to find evidence of folks who had gone through similar trials and come out the other side, she discovered a blog that offered great hope. The authors’ marriage had survived the worst of offenses, yet they had labored through regaining trust and rebuilding relationship. They offered hope that marriage could indeed survive the darkest of seasons. As we talked through the pros and cons of following such a blog while she was in the early stages of rebuilding her own marriage, a possible danger surfaced: blogmosis. The tendency to read about the life of another, and hope that in doing so, our own journey will take a similar path. She coined the term, by the way. Clever, huh?
On some level, we all hope that blogmosis will occur in our own lives. We seek comfort, wisdom, enlightenment and assurance as we walk through disappointments and challenges in life. The sources to which we look may vary – a blog, book, speaker, or friend can offer hope that their story may rub off on ours. We want to know that someone else has traveled this road and succeeded, and perhaps their good fortune will bleed into ours.
No doubt, the stories of those who’ve gone before us can offer hope and direction. Yet all too often, the line is blurred when we desire that another’s story becomes our story. I want what another has. Ever so stealthily, legitimate desire mutates into coveting that which is not meant for me.
In the scientific realm, osmosis is defined as the tendency of water in salt water to flow across a barrier from an area of low concentration to an area of high concentration until both sides of the barrier reach equilibrium. Similarly, the propensity toward blogmosis can only be prevented when we reach a state of equilibrium as we relate to the lives of others…
~When we choose to believe that our unique journey in life is equal in value to that of all others
~When we accept that the individuality of our own story holds infinite dignity
~When we can be inspired, challenged, or convicted by the journey of another, yet still rest in believing that we are created with unique talents and abilities to be used for specific purpose
~When we attempt to view our lives not through our own eyes but from the eyes of our wise, perfect, incapable-of-error Creator
~ When we focus not on the life that we would like to have, but on the life that we have been given
I’m grateful for the stories of those around me, and for the vast array of technology that gives unlimited, immediate access. When kept in proper perspective, they can give me a glimpse of the greater story for which I was made. Yet as with any good thing, the best can be twisted into the destructive. I can’t live my life fully if I’m trying to replicate someone else’s.
I want to see clearly.
I want to be wise.
I want to be content….
I want to live fully in my own story.
“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.” Viktor Frankl