Shutting Down the Forums

I’ve decided to shut down the discussion forums on this site by the end of the year, sometime between Xmas and New Year’s.

The way this played out was a bit explosive I know (which you may have seen if you’ve been active in the forums), but the triggering event was only one in a long series, the proverbial straw that finally broke the camel’s back. In this case I’d say it was bigger than a straw, but it was more than enough extra annoyance for me to finally say, “Enough is enough already. This isn’t worth doing anymore.”

It feels like I’ve been using my power to hold down a coiled spring for so long (pushing to keep the forums going while being out of harmony with them), and this time I finally just let go. The result was a significant “boing” in a different direction. Lots of trapped energy finally had a chance to escape. Perhaps it was more of a “boom” than a “boing,” but either way I’m glad this energy is no longer trapped.

I’m sorry if anyone feels hurt by how this played out. This is, however, often how these kinds of awareness shifts do play out. Sometimes when people finally realize it’s time to quit, it’s not all flowers and hugs on the way out. Often it’s more of an “I am so out of here” or “I’m so very done, done, done” feeling. That’s the feeling I have about this — a feeling of just being done with this and feeling more than ready to move on. At the moment I’m not in a place where I feel particularly concerned about others’ feelings. I think it’s better to be honest about that than to feign a sense of loss or regret. I just want to make this transition happen quickly and put it behind me. It’s hard to want to build or maintain bridges when seeing ashes brings much more relief and peace.

I’m aware that this may not be the most graceful of transitions, and I accept that it’s my responsibility how this ultimately played out. I understand that some people may be upset with me, but I just need to be done with this. My attitude right now isn’t one of, “Let’s make this transition as graceful as possible.” I tried doing a graceful transition before, and it got bogged down more than once. Now I’m doing it Aries-style, ramming my head through any obstacles between me and the door while bellowing “Hulk smash!” This will require more bandages later, but it will get the job done.

If you’ve never gone through such an experience yourself, you probably can’t relate to what I’m going through, and you may think I’m out of alignment with what I teach. In truth I’m going through a very similar process to the one described in a 2008 article called Tolerance Is Resistance to Love, which happened when I transitioned from game development to blogging. Within the past day, I basically shifted from the “stop saying yes” phase to the “commit to quitting” phase.

For me this is a matter of self-love and self-care. What I actually feel most right now is… tremendous relief. That’s a hint and a half that I need to do this. I’m not angry or hurt or upset. Yesterday I was surely annoyed, but in a way that gave me great clarity about what I’m no longer willing to tolerate in my life. After sleeping on it, now I’m beginning to feel excited and happy about the coming year. You have no idea how good it feels to know that I won’t have to deal with all the headaches of forum admin in 2012.

I hope this makes some degree of sense, but when something like this goes down, I have to surrender to the notion that I’m likely to be perpetually misunderstood about the whole thing. And honestly, in this case I think I’d rather risk being labeled an insensitive ogre by many people than to spend hours and hours explaining myself and reading forum members’ public psychoanalyses of me. In fact, it’s the connection to those kinds of experiences in my life that I truly want to burn to ashes right now.

As Carlos Castaneda wrote, “When a man finally realizes that he has taken a path without a heart, the path is ready to kill him.” While this path did have a heart for me when I first embarked on it, it’s clear I’ve lost the heart connection to it a long time ago. My heart is leading me in other directions, and clinging to the past has become way too burdensome to continue.

Quitting Facebook earlier this year was another step on this journey. I don’t have the clarity just yet to know what I want to do instead of these aspects I’m releasing, but I know they’re not what I want in my life, and so I’ll let them go this year, and I know that down the road something more congruent will come into my life. For me this is very much like quitting a job before I have something lined up to replace it. And I think that’s very much in alignment with what I teach. If you disagree, you really don’t know me all that well.

I believe I can turn the forums into a read-only archive, so as a resource it can stay online, at least for a while. I’m not going to transfer ownership of it to anyone else since that would violate my privacy policy, and I seriously doubt anyone would want their email addresses falling into the hands of some potential spammer.

I want to thank everyone who participated in our online community and especially our amazing moderators for doing so much behind the scenes.

Most likely I’ll shut down the forums between Xmas and New Year’s. The earliest I’ll take things offline would be Dec 26th, so you have at least 5 days.

If you’ve been active in the forums, this is the time to say your goodbyes, exchange contact info with friends there, and wrap things up however you wish. Since most people who read my blog never participate in the forums, there’s a good chance you really don’t care about any of this. But if you do care, then I hope you enjoyed the five-year run we had.

Update Dec 26: The forum shutdown is complete.

Another update: The forum archives were indeed kept online for a few more years after this post was made, until they got hacked and someone tried to use them to distribute malware. Now the forum archives have been removed as well. It’s not worth the effort to try to secure an inactive forum year after year.