We’re just going to skip Day 28 altogether because I’ve written about it way too much and I think you’d agree. Here is the quote:
Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.
― Brené Brown
If you’re new here, read any (I promise) of the posts so far in this series and you’ll get the gist.
Instead, here’s Day 29’s which will bring us in sync with the calendar and I can let go of that nervous tic I’ve been having about the days being one off.
We’re a nation hungry for more joy: Because we’re starving from a lack of gratitude.
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
What’s interesting about these quotes is not so much their ranking, but the drops in their popularity from one quote to the next. The rankings go from “98 Likes” to “80 likes” on Day 18 when I wrote about narcissism via the vulnerability lens… these two quotes above are in the high 60s. The love for Brown’s content drops like a grand piano midway through because I think she’s beating up her own content.
There are only so many times the brain can take “be vulnerable and you are brave” before it starts to vomit on itself.
And no one wants to clean up that.
“We are a nation hungry for more joy.”
This quote sort of gets under my fingernails and bugs me in an ancient (1970s) wartime (Brady Bunch) fashion.
The people I know, with whom I consort all seem to be riding the “attitude of gratitude” bus. We are like those birds of the feather which flock together. We are the choir to whom we preach. Just as the people who might be hungry for more joy are likely flocking together, in the whole “misery loves company” sort of way.
Here’s me sitting in my very cheap seats: some people simply want to be numb or angry or feel victimized even though their liberation has come, and has been literally tapping its foot by the front door (to move on already, we’ve got reservations at The Plaza!!) or starving (with a buffet before them) but who don’t realize that Grace is right in front of them, asking to be recognized; asking to be considered and accepted. After the acceptance, Grace is synthesized and then acclimatized and then a part of the supposed banal experience of day-to-day life.
How boring it is to be grateful. How boring indeed.
I get it. I sit here in my office with my space heater and my dog. Typing away, waxing philosophic about getting in The Moment, letting it go… If you’re already here, you’re picking up what I’m putting down.
If you’re new:
I’ve not got much time left in this series so I’m just gonna let it all fly out: here we are. On this big blue planet. For a moment…. just take a second and look around you and then come back. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Ok. Did you look around you? Take another look. I’m good.
In what manner (mode) are you reading this post? Cell phone? Tablet? Desktop? Laptop? Are you in your house? In your car? Are you on a public computer at the library? Smile at someone! Are you at a friend’s house? Thank your friend for the broadband or the place to hang. Be sure to clean up after yourself, be a good guest. Your mom doesn’t work here. Don’t get pissy at me about the Mom reference; I am a mom and I lost my mom not too long ago, so while I get your sensitivity, I’m not going to back you.
Can you read or is this all gibberish to you? If it’s hard to follow, chances are you might have dyslexia. If it’s not dyslexia then you are doing alright. If you have dyslexia and you can still follow this, you are a brilliant genius, log off and go invent something; the world needs you. GO! Are you on a Smartphone? Look up. Smile at another human being. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Simply being able to provide for private access to the internet will cost about $40 a month on a smartphone plus the monthly subscription fee. Who’s paying for that? Say thanks for the funds!
What else do you read on the internet? The daily news? Good for you. Some humor? Even better. Do you cruise pop culture only? Hmm. I don’t even know what a Kardashian is. It sounds like a venereal rash.
Are you warm? Are you comfortable? Are you safe?
Anyway, the point I’m trying to get at is that you already have a lot to be thankful for. (That’s right, I ended a sentence in a preposition.) We haven’t even talked about health or neighbor issues, parents, relatives or kids. Can you for just one moment, look around you and be grateful for one thing? How about that you have vision? Or that you’re safe? Or that you’re reading my blog?! I mean… c’mon! Future Nobel Winner, right here! I’ve got this.
Ok, good. Now we’re getting somewhere. Look at the lightbulb nearest you and say thanks. To your EYES. Look down at your hands, or hand (maybe you’re disabled, and you have my consideration and my sympathy, your situation can be challenging). I am with you.
But you’re still here, aren’t you?
You have blood in your veins: you can be thankful.
I know. “Shut up, Molly.”
“You don’t know my troubles, Molly.”
I guess. But I know this: Your troubles are different today; they are one day different. There is a way through them, not around them. When we confront them they are surmountable.
Sometimes the solution seems elusive. But one solution lies is in presence, quiet, repose and silence. Just for a few minutes. It’s like that book some blogger wrote about asking toddlers to give their moms a break to pee or something like that (I don’t know, I can’t be bothered with popular culture, I don’t have a daughter and my sons simply don’t care).
All you need is just a minute, just one. Quiet. In the midst of the chaos, you can still summon moments of repose. Inhale nice and strong, like a smoker on a cigarette. Deep, fill your lungs and exhale nice and slow.
You can still create those moments, and then: ahh. Gratitude. For just that moment so you can look around and gather yourself. Leave your thoughts alone. Levity. Do it again!
Don’t starve for joy. It’s right there. I’m not trying to be glib, like the “At least …” sympathizer in the video below (which I’ve shared several times):
I’ve been there. Sometimes I am there still, dark and alone. But we can’t stay there for long. Happiness is lurking.
You can’t grab on to joy if you’re holding on to resentment; your hands are full; something has to go.
I know. Sometimes it’s not that simple. But I do know this: we have to start somewhere.