I don’t think we are in control of the darkness that is handed to us in life… I don’t even think we are always in control of how we respond to that darkness. I don’t think the 90/10 principle applies to some of the horrendous things that go on in this world… I think sometimes life is about survival, not making fucking lemonade.
The human body and mind is a pretty incredible creation: it is resilient. It has countless mechanisms at its disposal to protect itself, both mentally and physically. Just look at what people survive in this world. We survive things we don’t even know we’re surviving because if we knew at the time, there’s no way our bodies would continue to function the way that we need them to.
I hate the notion circulating social media and society in general that we control our lives and our destinies and that everything happens for a reason. Excuse my french, but fuck that.
Sometimes it is a tricky balance for me: I look at friends who are never happy and choose to air their discontent on facebook… who hate their jobs and their husbands and always seem to have a complaint about how difficult their life is or how rotten their kids are… and I cringe. They are stuck in a cycle and they are the only ones with power to change it. And if you make the choice to stay in it, take that up with your therapist; it isn’t for airing on your facebook wall. But then I remind myself that I’m assuming they know they have a choice, or that they know how to do it differently, and not everyone knows that.
But then I look at people who have been given zero choice in life… abuse, trauma, disease, death, natural disasters… their lives aren’t about taking the lemons and making lemonade; their lives are about surviving. Life isn’t “handing” them lemons, anyways; it is shooting them point blank at their faces. Sometimes they can only take life a day at a time… and sometimes they can only take life a moment at a time. And sometimes… just sometimes… they are working their asses off to deal with the darkness they’ve been dealt so they can actually be happy, or at least be different than they are now.
For both groups of people… for the ones who need to learn that they do have a say and a choice in their happiness, and for those whose lives are simply about getting through the day while still breathing… I’m not sure reading a stupid facebook meme is really going to help them in any way. I’m guessing they might even send their thoughts into a huge spiral of shame and guilt regarding why they “can’t just get better”. Is that really helpful?
If you’re someone who believes that everyone has a choice about their life… I encourage you to empower people personally. You may have no idea the impact you can have on someone by simply reaching out or being willing to listen. If you see someone struggling with disliking their job or a certain aspect of their life… try to put yourself in their shoes and look at what really might be holding them back from making a change there: do they know they can change it? Do they understand how powerful they can be? Do they have the means to get out of that situation? If they don’t, perhaps you can be a positive influence on them.
And if you’re someone who believes that bad things happen to good people to try to teach them a lesson of some kind… or so they can “get” something out of it… so they can walk in authority on that issue and learn to help other people through the same things… I truly hope you will never ever experience anything that shows you how wrong you are.