Hello all. There has been so much I have wanted to talk about lately, but when I sit down to write here, the thoughts just won’t untangle themselves and travel down through my fingers to the keys so I can get them out. So many things have been on my mind, things that I know are on other people’s minds as well. A woman I went to college with posted an excellent status on Facebook about social media and isolation. I wanted to talk about that. Campaigns and elections happened. I wanted to talk about that. Local news and world news and personal news happened. I wanted to talk about that. But today, just for now, the thing that is foremost in my mind is: all of us have a daily battle we fight. Ok, yeah, most of us fight a couple dozen battles every day. The one I’m talking about is one that always seems to be in the foreground for me personally, and it is simply this: positivity versus negativity.
I’m sure the rest of you have noticed this battle going on around us. Just check social media. You have friends who post every single day about how awesome life is, how good everything is, how happy they are, how “blessed” they are. You see them post things from Upworthy and ViralNova and whatever sites are the favorites of the most positive-seeming people. You see them post memes (I didn’t know those had an official name, those things people post that have pictures and sayings on them. Until I found that out, I always just called them posters.) You see them post memes with a river or a forest, or clouds, or rainbows, with some expression or scripture on them about peace, love, and happiness. They post their personal successes, their love stories, their befores and their afters, and they preach the Gospel of Never Give Up!
And then there are the others. The ones who post stuff from places that are meant to absolutely fill you with fear, dread, disgust, etc. Gloom and Doom, Death and Destruction, POLITICAL criticism, Religious Attack, Medical Attack. General Worldwide Bad Stuff. And they love Grumpy Cat, and that ventriloquist dummy Walter, and any other person, character, organization, or forum that gives new meaning to the term NAYsayer. And they post about everything bad that happens. Their car breaks down, their pants split, their dog ran away, their supper burned and their kid is driving them wacko.
And what I’m seeing is that for me personally there is a battle. A battle to make an occasional appearance in the first category so that I don’t take up permanent residence in the second. I’m not sure it’s possible to be all Sunshine and Light all the time, and I’m not sure it’s healthy. I AM sure it’s an awful lot easier for some people to be negative most of the time. I fight so hard against that. I know I have a tendency to lean that way. I know about myself that I am moody at best, mercurial and manic and sometimes positive and sometimes not. I try. I try to balance it, is what I’m saying. I try to acknowledge the reality that sometimes it feels like MY particular life couldn’t possibly suck any worse, while also knowing, KNOWING in my deepest soul that there is beauty in the world. There is goodness. There is light. There is HOPE! Overall, I have it pretty good. I know this, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling the other way in other moments.
I guess the main point here is that I’m asking for patience. We need to have patience. We need to be patient with the perpetual cheerleaders when we’d really like to punch their lights out, primarily because we feel that they just don’t understand our reality. Intellectually maybe, they get it, but in their emotional place, they have never put their feet on OUR path. But pay attention- here is where it gets real: they have had their feet on their own path, and we don’t know where it has been and our feet have never been on their path either! The same goes for the Gloom And Doom-ers. We have to be patient when we feel like finally, finally, we are in a good place, having a good day, and darn it if they are not dragging us down like a human crocodile. Here’s the thing: we don’t wear their ‘perspectacles’ to steal a phrase from Momastery. (Highly recommended site, BTW.) We don’t share the events and feelings that they have walked through to get to their current scenic overlook of the world. We know our own path, and odds are it is very similar to theirs, but like snowflakes, no two people’s journeys have been the same. AND…our own journey is not going to be the same every single day. Some days we are going to feel like Pollyanna and some days we’re going to feel like Aunt Polly and Old Mrs. Snow. But we journey on. Yes. We journey on.
Until next time,