Updated: Mar 9
Sooo as you can see we haven't been very active on here. Like the rest of you, (I suspect) life crept up then tackled us, then we've been playing catch up, until the steamroller took off down that hill from guideposts September to January. But instead of beating our selves up, letting our inner critic berate us and letting the rest of the negative self talk loom over us like our own ironic shady umbrella; we are trying very hard to do something else.
(And just for the record, my inner critic is bellowing at me- even as I write, but my typing is trying to shut them up.)
What am I waffling on about?
Specifically editing the words in my head not just on the screen or on paper. I'm not talking about toxic positivity here-- like everything is fine and if I, you, we just practiced more gratitude everything would be fine. No, the world would still be on fire, with all the deadly sins taking center stage over the suffering, the silence, and the struggles. So let's get to it.
Ex. 1 Should haves and regrets
Most of us reflect on the past year when looking forward to the new year. We look at all the things we didn't do and should have done. The resolutions we set and didn't do. The 'promises' we made to ourselves and our subsequent failures. Then we roll those up, add on more sprinkles, and vow that this next year will be it. And we set ourselves up again - for probably failure-- just so we can needlessly shame ourselves. I don't know about you- but I have already failed at all my resolutions-- hence this diatribe post.
Alteration 1: Should haves to could haves & triumphs
Ok stay with me here. The last 3 years have been shitty and catastrophic (no- I will not apologize for cursing as in this case its crude emphasis is necessary). So lets shift our perspective to; yeah- in a perfect world I could have done that, but I survived! I might have gone to the gym --- but the mask thing and I survived. I might have eaten healthier but the influencer pollution on my social media feeds sent me into a confused spiral, so I ordered a fancy pizza with arugula on it and I survived as best I could. Congratulations!!
Alteration 2: Regrets to Credits
Yay for the times you remembered to take vitamins because you left them on the counter instead of hiding them in the cabinet. Yay for taking care of family and friends. Yay for sending funny memes to people you care about to make them laugh and smile and tell them you care. Yay for every time you thanked someone. Yay for all the hard times you kept going, and still got up again the next morning. Yay for the compassion showed and tears you shed for all the people that are struggling, even if you don't know about all of it. Yay for putting your emotional and bodily well being over unattainable social constructs. Yay for doing your best - even when you know it isn't enough. (That is truly tough - I see you).
Example 2: Inspiration not negotiation
Purpose. Remembering purpose is always helpful to me; whether writing or organizing a party. And not the current social purpose but the root cause of why we might engage in this activity. We make resolutions to be better people, friends, family etc. To be more successful, healthier, wealthier etc. Some even make multiyear plans. Personally all of this stresses me out beyond belief and sends me into a spiral of depression and failure by March.
And then I go back to 'Why?' I've hosted a few babyshowers, bachelorette parties, school fundraisers and more. Is the babyshower really just to provide presents to the new mom? Or is it to create a community of people that can provide social and emotional support for the times to come? We forget amongst the games and icebreakers that the real point is to invite and create an informed support network for the new mom. Despite this information age we are all still reticent to chat about the scary, the icky and weird parts of pregnancy and childbirth - even though we all say 'it's so natural'. So let's imagine how much else about life we aren't being honest about? Let's inspire eachother to share, to be honest without judgement- and ASK how can I help? ASK -do you just need to be hear or are you seeking advice?
(i know where is the inspiration... just wait, patience is a virtue I also do not possess but hope for in others:)
So why do we like to set ourselves up for failure each year? Set ourselves up to fail against each quest? Are we all complete masochists? Well perhaps a little. The more likely answer is that hope is one of the strongest and best things on Earth. Despite the state of chaos and despair the media serves us everyday, we are able to see rays of light through the gloom, we give, we help, & we hope. And those really special people -- they change-- they change not just their perspectives but their approaches, and they work tirelessly to change the systems that no longer serve humanity or worse that hurt and degrade humanity. These heroes change the world. They shine those lights of hope onto places we are afraid to see and acknowledge - not to shame us but to invite us to help change and make these fetid societal systems bloom and blossom and actually support humanity and inspiration.
When our inspiration for our better selves at fails within about 3-6 weeks, These other people refuse to cow or negotiate (they are a wonder to be appreciated-- just go with it, I am not one of them nor do I have to be-- but that doesn't mean I cannot help and support them all the same). They start working harder so that in May and June they can rejuvenate our hope and instigate change.
So instead of using energy to beat yourself up at not making it to the gym or accomplishing those original goals, take some time to save up your energy. Take time to re-energize yourself. Take time to research a little and instead look outward.
What have I been babbling on about? Don't negotiate your contributions to just societal stock. You are incredible! You are creative! You are inspirational! Inspire yourself and others through the credit you give. You have done amazing things to survive the past few years, and maybe more, if you can't immediately thank yourself for doing so--thank others. Be the light you wish to see in the world. (Not always- don't extinguish yourself for others, but shine wherever you can).
When you write, when you create, when you are artistic and you let yourself tune out or flow or whatever you feel to your core-- YOU ARE LIVING! YOU ARE BEING! I urge you to embrace and appreciate that feeling. If you find it through mediation, walking, friendship, cooking, cleaning-- whatever-- give yourself credit. FEEL and LOVE and BREATHE.