Defeating the Dark Side

If you asked me to, I could come up with several reasons to cry at any given moment.  I’m a basically a walking teardrop with a personality.  Life, as I’m sure you’ve discovered, isn’t all giggles and vacation.  It’s more like Star Wars minus the light sabers and space travel.  It’s about survival and defeating the dark side, or at least not letting it suck you in completely.  It’s about understanding different cultures and fighting for what you believe is right and love-it is always most certainly about love, the force that keeps us all afloat.

It has become quite easy to focus on all of the negativity that surrounds us.  No one wants to hear the good stuff.  If you tell people about the amazing happening in your life or if you have a good self-esteem, it comes off as bragging or narcissistic.  Confidence has become something you can only acquire through others.  If it comes from within, you’re a self-obsessed monster who must be stopped.  Nobody calls up their friends to say “My ass looks so good in these jeans I just bought!” or “My relationship is at a 10 today!”  Somehow this type of talk has been shushed by modesty and humble pie.

I’m about to say something I may regret, but here it goes.  We should all try to embrace the type of self-esteem Kanye West possesses.  I am not a fan of his in all regards but if I could capture even a sliver of his self worth, I’d probably be the reigning Queen of a tropical island, home of the world’s longest slip ‘n slide.  #Fact  His view of himself is on such a Kilimanjaro  level of impressed and I think we could all use that in our lives.  Imagine not having the need to constantly seek validation.  I can’t even feign the thought of being that secure with myself.   In a world all too ready to push us down, we should at the very least like ourselves and, yet, we are wired not to.  See the problem?

Even when someone gives me a compliment, I find it very difficult to just say “thank you”.  Someone told me they liked my hair the other day and before I even knew what was happening I was four minutes into an explanation on why it looked like that, as if they cared or needed a backstory.  I then mentally slapped myself across the face, stopped speaking mid-sentence and said  what I should have said from the beginning:  thank you.  I mean, when did taking a compliment become such an obstacle?  When did seeing yourself in a positive light or as having admirable attributes become taboo?!  It’s ridiculous!

I have completely given up on watching the news.  Every awful event of the day smashed into a 30 minute segment for our viewing pleasure with a little dab of meteorology, which is the ONLY profession in which you can be consistently wrong and still have a job.  Insanity.  Why couldn’t I have been passionate about barometers, humidity (beyond how it will effect my level of frizz), and precipitation?  Ugh, even writing that I almost fell asleep.  The news, quite honestly, is guaranteed depression.  A special news update is never good.  If your program is being interrupted, it’s not to tell you about a free lemonade stand down the street or how Congress held hands on the White House lawn singing Kumbaya for charity.  Get real.

What I find most frustrating is that I know the world isn’t all bad.  I know good things are happening and that good people are out there.  What Jimmy Kimmel has done with his mean tweets segment is brilliant.  He took something so hate-filled and ugly and turned it into something beautifully hilarious.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here you go.  Keep in mind these are actual tweets that people took time out of their day to post.

celebrities-read-mean-tweets

jimmy-kimmel-live-blake-griffin-mean-tweets-abc

kudrow

gerrard-butler

jimmy-kimmel-live-hosts-eighth-edition-of-celebrities-read-mean-tweets

Make lemonade people!! There is so much GOOD that happens in our everyday lives if we would just take a minute to stop and focus on it.  Think about every bad thing that has ever happened to you.  You got through it.  You’re here.  And even though you might have some new scars or lost some things along the way, you made it.  You’re a survivor.  Your life isn’t nearly as awful as you imagine, I promise.  If you’re reading this, you have Internet access.  Yay!  Go without running water for a few days, you’ll see what I mean.

Gossip, criticism, hatred, tragedy, sickness, death, and failure are thrown in our face on the daily.  They are what keep us down.  They are unfortunate pieces of our reality.  However, they only are what we let them become.  We are surrounded and it’s on us to rise above it, to be better, and to do our part to make life a little bit easier for ourselves and those around us.  As I’ve said before, failure is merely redirection, criticism is subjective, and gossip is not constructive.  Believe me when I say I have had my battle with all of these things.  I still do and I know I will in the future.  Be aware of it and make a choice.  Choose the light side.  Vote for happy.  Find the good.  Embrace love.  May the Force be with you.

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