Who doesn't love a little self-help from an absolutely unqualified, muddling her way through life, blogger? Step right up, my friends; you've come to the right spot!
My friend posted a link on facebook about people getting all huffy and puffy and rude about stuff that affects them exactly 0% in life. I commented about how I'd suggest those people get a hobby, but it appears that being hateful is a full-time job for all too many. She agreed and made a comment I've been thinking about. Just repeating in my head.
"I have been thinking about people being desensitized,
and then needing powerful emotions like hate to feel alive."
Maybe you've heard about that happening with pornography and violence; people being so desensitized by watching pornography that normal sexual situations no longer cause arousal, or seeing so much violence in video games or movies that it no longer registers as totally inappropriate violence.
Both of those situations sicken me, but she got me thinking about it on another level. I started thinking about the world that surrounds us, the words that we hear in our minds, the emotions we stifle until we don't even recognize them anymore. The comments on social media, the 24-hour news cycle and its incessant need to fill us in on every frightening and terrifying detail of every disaster, real or invented for CNN/MSNBC/Fox/you get the idea's monetary gain, everywhere in the world. The drama. The high stakes. The reality TV. Everything is super-sized and super-emotional and super-over-the-top. All of this creates a need for bigger and louder and more intense to even catch our attention.
And then there's just you and the neighbor two doors down and the person at the bank and me, sitting here trying to live our lives and make them count for the light we shine and the love we share. It doesn't require rocket science or reinventing the internet. It doesn't require organic, no-sweat shop sweaters for your rescued shelter dog or all clean eating all the time for your toddler.
It requires love. Kindness. Forgiveness. Grace. Peace. Patience. Gentleness. For ourselves and for the people around us. In hopes that they'll share those things with the people around them. And then around them. And on and on it goes until it meets the yahoos full in the face with love and forgiveness.
Yes, it's hard to tune out the noise. We have kids and we hear about mommy wars. We buy the new car and we hear about carbon footprints. We go to the grocery store and we hear about organic and GMO and local and clean eating. Which is to say that anyone can create a controversy and argument and all-out verbal war spanning email and twitter and instagram and facebook about anything and can find the study, website and scientific paper to back it up.
So let's stop. It's the season of resolutions and thinking about our place in the world and how to make our place brighter and better, so let's stop. Not for the month, but for good. Forever. With a few fumbles because we're forgetful humans, of course, but mostly forever.
Let's turn off the big noises coming at us from all directions telling us how horrible the world is and how terrible we are because we aren't enough of whatever we're supposed to be. Or we're too much of what we shouldn't be. Or, you know, whatever junk you're hearing.
Because it's junk and when we fill our lives with junk we don't leave room for all of the good stuff. And, oh goodness, there is so much good stuff. Sure, it hides sometimes and it isn't as noisy as the bad stuff and the sadness can get in the way of it, but sometimes it just shines, all radiant and sparkly and begging to be noticed. And sometimes we pick away at the bad stuff until just a sliver of the beauty is shining, but it still overwhelms the bad stuff. That's the power it holds. And that's what we have to hold on to. And that's what we have to grow. And that's what we have to be. And that's what we have to share. Until that big emotion people need to feel alive is love. Until hate is the little sliver and love is the big stuff.
|This. This is good stuff.|
I may be an optimist, but I'm no Pollyanna. We can't fix everything and the world is full of hurts we can't begin to understand. But we can be the good, bring the love, to the people in our circles. And we can expand our circles to include new people. We can just do the best we can.
I'm going to boil it down for you (and me since I'm forgetful about life's big lessons)
10 Steps to being yahoo-free in 2015
-DeNae's free edition
1-Read books that make you laugh and make you think. (May I suggest Hope Runs by Claire Diaz-Ortiz and Samuel Ikua Gachagua? I just finished it yesterday and it is a beautiful and inspiring story, simply told, of how hard life can be for people and how beautiful life can be when we help each other.)
2-Hang out with people who make you laugh and make you think and who make you feel loved and special. Like this.
|Asher with his great-grandpa. And love.|
3-Don't hang out with people who make you feel dumb and crappy.
4-Sing in the car. Or, if you're not a car singer, crank up the music and car dance. It's nearly impossible to be gloomy in this situation.
5-Do kind things often.
6-Find out what you're good at and share that piece of you with others. Don't think. Just do.
7-Err on the side of love and forgiveness.
8-Get enough sleep. It's so much harder to handle life when we're sleep-deprived.
9-Find out what makes you happy and then do that. Reading or running, hockey or drawing. Just fill up your happy bucket so you have some to share with others.
10-Breathe deeply and LIVE!!!
What would you add to the list? What are you doing to really live and not just exist?
And are you a Sunday blog reader? I'll be checking in with my one word on Sundays. Here's yesterday's post if you missed it.