Ever been accused of blowing sunshine up someone’s ass*? I haven’t yet, at least not to my face. But I feel like it’s only a matter of time. I sometimes hesitate to share thoughts and articles pertaining to joy and love and other such hippie-esque virtues because of what appears to be an overpopulation of online naysayers and trolls.
It seems that in this microcosm of electronic communication and semi-anonymity that we call the interwebz, cynicism has become the increasingly popular stance to take. (Not being friendly is much easier to do when you’re not standing eye-to-eye with someone.) Now, I do love me some good sarcasm here and there. Oh, you’re being sarcastic? I get it. Very funny. And witty. Congratulations. How’s that working for you? But as a Facebook/blogging friend (TMiYC) put it, “I used to be a huge fan of sarcasm. Now I prefer direct, honest human connection.” Exactly.
I often feel like positive thinking is being asked to take a back seat. Inspiration has gotten a bum rap. Not everything intended to be inspiring on the Internet is “blowing sunshine up your ass” or “shitting rainbows**.” It’s about GRATITUDE, one of the most powerful emotions we can experience. What’s more: it’s something we can choose to feel. How great is that?!
So why does it seem like so many people are against expressing good feelings and spreading inspiration? Do they think it’s unrealistic? Do they think I’m a fool or that I’m naive? Do they think my life is blissfully simple? (Far from it.) Is it lame to express joy? Are they jealous? Personally, I think it has something to do with rationalization and this little thing called cognitive dissonance. (The Wiki on cognitive dissonance is pretty good.)
They perceive something to be elusive or unattainable (e.g., joy, happiness), so they find ways to diminish its validity. (That’s fancy-talk for “sour grapes.”) Granted, there are probably just as many inspiring and uplifting folks as there are sour grapes and Debbie Downers (if not more). But they stand out! A frown, even a virtual one, will always stand out in a crowd of smilers.
These cynical Doubty McDoubtersons (thanks, Karin) have the misfortune of believing themselves to be “realists.” Without going post-modern or new age-y on your asses, isn’t “reality” simply what we see and experience? Or is that just perspective? If so, isn’t my perspective just as valid as one belonging to someone else? Perspective and context are the infrastructure of what we view as reality. What I think and feel determines my experience in any given moment, so my reality is always shifting, never stationary, never absolute. So go ahead and react to your surroundings. Deal with it in any way you know how. Just maintain a balance. There’s no point in fixating on how difficult or pointless things seem to be. Why not find the silver lining, take the higher road or find purpose in the chaos?
To that end, I want to take this opportunity to share with you some of my favorite blogs and Facebook pages. Some of them are staples in my online diet while others are relatively new to me. All of them are inspiring, whether inspiration is the primary focus or a fortunate side effect. The common thread? Gratitude.
The Monster in Your Closet (Deborah Bryan)
TMiYC on Facebook
I’m sure you know Deb by now. She has become a very real friend to me despite knowing her only digitally. Compassionate, articulate and honest (and let’s not forget delightfully nerdy), you can count on wearing a smile with every post she writes. She also holds a law degree and is a talented author of young adult fiction.
I Want a Dumpster Baby (Katy)
IWaDB on Facebook
If you love heart and humor, and haven’t already read Kitty’s (sort of my online “pet name” for Katy, no offense to her awesome husband!) blog, do it! In her words, she’s “fucking funny. And pretty nice too.” She’s been sober for 10 years, and hasn’t eaten anything with a face for twice as long. But she’s not a dick about it. Promise.
Mynewfavoriteday on Facebook
I’m new to her blog and FB page, but she and I are on the same page when it comes to connecting with others in a meaningful way, even if the specifics are different. From her site: “what I found out … was that these emotions and feelings were not unique to us or our circumstances, but rather permeated all of your personal experiences…” (Connections! Context! Perspective!) It’s a blog filled with gratitude focused on making each day “mynewfavoriteday.”
Don’t Pet the Sweaty Stuff
Don’t Pet the Sweaty Stuff on Facebook
New here, too, but DPtSS talks a lot about gratitude, gives people a place to share gratitude and demonstrates a healthy balance between gratitude and sarcasm. Just don’t ask for help with your math homework.
The Dash Between (Christine)
The Dash Between on Facebook
Again, new to this page/blog. Showing appreciation and humor, she’s living the dash between (1974 – ?).
Yes I’m on My Way (Emma Jewel)
Em is a single parent (well, she was–she’s now engaged) with an exceptional son. It’s a blog rich in self-empowerment that strives to inspire. She’s also one of my longest-standing and most loyal readers. 🙂
MAD Queendom on Facebook
From her page, “Inspired to motivate, entertain, inform with positive energy–with a MAD point of view!” That pretty much sums it up.
Moms Who Drink and Swear (Nikki)
MWDaS on Facebook
Nikki’s page really needs no introduction, as she now has almost 187k fans. And while she certainly needs to pimping from me, I like to make sure my readers know about her blog regularly. Because, despite what the newcomer might think of her page from glancing at the title, Nikki is passionate about what she believes in, and she knows how important it is to find balance between ranting about the woes of parenthood and loving the shit out of those little fuckers. She’s a foul-mouthed therapist and mother with–count ’em–two master’s degrees. A woman after my own heart!
That’s all for now. Any more might cause gratitude overload (and make for a ridiculously long post). Enjoy these fellow bloggers/pages, and share your gratitude with them. It’s contagious.
I’ve said it before: life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. But to the extent that I can craft my filter and focus my lens to see the beauty in life, I will do so proudly and without apology. Remember, we’re building a community here. To my friends old and new, welcome to the neighborhood. I’m grateful for you!
Pooping rainbows since 1976,
P.S. Please share your thoughts! The more thoughts shared, the broader our perspectives become! Also, what are you grateful for? 🙂
P.P.S. I’m also really grateful for the times you share my posts! (Nudge, nudge.)
*This implies disingenuity. My happiness, I can assure you, is genuine.
**The term “shitting rainbows” here is in reference to a sort of delusional, artificial or naive happiness.