One of my favorite verses from the bible is from Psalm 118:24:
This is the day the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
In my humble opinion, the implications of this verse are powerful, less in the literally interpretation of creation and more in the subtext of opportunity…human opportunity.
As the sun rises and sets, we are given another chance to get it right. To appreciate ourselves, our lives and to be joyful and glad for who and what we are.
Now I’d like to ask you two simple questions and I am going to guess how you might answer them.
Are you glad, You, are you? YES OR NO? Do you rejoice in the You that is? YES or NO?
- “What do you mean by glad exactly?” “I mean there are so many levels of gladness from extreme happiness to mild contentment and everything in between, so, can you further define the word “glad” for me?”
- “What is there to be glad about, my life is in turmoil, period! “
- “Of course, I’m glad! BUT there are hundreds of things I’m working on, so um, it’s hard to let others see the real me. I’d rather envision the images of the “me” I want to be. The perfect “me” I imagine myself to be. The “me”, I’d be glad to know, not this mess of a person that I see in the mirror before me. I can’t rejoice until I’m that person.”
- “It’s selfish to be glad for ourselves when so many others are hurting.”
- “People who are glad, are fake. No one is glad. Everyone is just going through the motions of life. Anyone who posts “glad” things about themselves, happy pictures, happy stories, IS just catering to the fakeness that is life on this planet.
- If we say we are “glad” with ourselves, then we ignore all that is possible for us to be. We become stagnate, unable to move forward, past our own self-importance.
You may find my answers surprising, a bit bold, maybe even brash. Maybe you are even uncomfortable with my cynicism. Isn’t this a positivity blog????
Well, if any or all of the above answers resonates with you, then I’m doing my job as a positivity blogger because we can’t move forward in our positivity journey until we accept the fact that we live in a world that makes money off the fact that we don’t like ourselves. Lots and lots of money. And we are being conditioned to think this way about gladness, about joy, about life because it lines the pockets of the few who don’t care whether we are glad or not as long as the money keeps rolling in.
We’ve been led to believe that joy and gladness are counter culture to what the world wants for us. So instead of rejoicing in the day the Lord hath made, we spend our days “oohing and ahhing” over our foibles to the degree that we give power to our own degradation.
We strip ourselves bare of any chance at happiness because it’s cooler to keep our happiness hidden, and more profitable if we are downright miserable.
Hate of ourselves is a profitable business, it has been for a long time and we, the people, are its’ willing fuel.
Countless advertising dollars are spent pumping our brains full of round the clock negativity. Social media sites programmed to “push” our vulnerability to the forefront.
Seriously, I can tell you it is nothing short of an uphill battle to be a positivity blogger in a world where likes and follows are freely given for negative content and positivity has become a pay per view proposition.
Those of us attempting to stoke the fires of glad tidings are left with the crumbs. Crumbs that are readily available to multiply, but for which we are conditioned to think ourselves unworthy of the fight.
Life’s algorithm seems to favor an economy where gladness is a four- letter word. We are constantly looking in the mirror, both literally and figuratively, impressed not by what is good about ourselves, but by what is flawed.
Now before I lose you to the doom and gloom, I have a quick fix for all of this. The answer is simple.
WE DON’T HAVE TO LIVE THIS WAY. I repeat. WE DON’T HAVE TO LIVE THIS WAY. For those of you who do not like contractions, here it is again:
WE DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE THIS WAY.
Nope, WE DO NOT. We can choose to be glad for ourselves. We can choose to post our gladness. We can choose to promote positivity, in all its forms. We can choose to say “HELL NO!” to the negativity machine.
But to do that we have to arm ourselves with a new attitude. An attitude that stops expecting the world to change for us and instead we change ourselves.
As I stated, we do live in a world where we are rewarded for being negative and that world encourages us to push gladness, true gladness in our human selves, to the back burner. Now the way this succeeds is it plays into our vulnerability that true gladness in ourselves is all about perfection.
And guess what people. None of us is perfect. Nope, not me, not you, not anyone.
So, first things first. Say to yourself:
I AM NOT PERFECT and THAT IS 100 PERCENT OK.
Simply put, Let Perfection Go!
O.k., so none of us is perfect. What’s next?
Well now we need to open our eyes to what we like about ourselves internally. Notice, I’m not talking about physical beauty.
I hate to burst your ego, but physical beauty is truly subjective and it’s virtually impossible to get consensus on what is physically beautiful and it’s the reason companies and their advertisers, since time immortal, have spent billions of dollars trying to convince us that physical beauty is important because no one can agree on exactly what that benchmark is.
So, forget your outside and focus on your inner beauty. Most everyone has something they like about themselves internally. Are you kind, considerate, compassionate, a quick study, a good listener, a good speaker, a motivator, focused, driven, energetic, positive, creative, romantic, resourceful, thoughtful, gentle, quiet, reserved, introvert, extrovert, comedic, entertaining…you get the idea!
Pick something, one thing. My inner beauty is my intuition. I can read a situation, a room, pretty quickly. I wasn’t always aware I had this skill or aware of how valuable it would be in my life. When I was an intern in my first job after college, a colleague of mine pointed out the importance of learning how to read the dynamics of a situation before jumping in with both feet to resolve it. She told me intuition was an important skill. I quickly realized it was a skill that came naturally to me, intuitively, and it is a skill that has served me well in every aspect of my life.
My intuition has enabled me to see the blessings in almost every situation. I quickly understand that “drama” in my life can also be the stepping stone to something even better. Be it tools to help me manage the situation or critical information that keeps me moving forward. So, I’m less reactive to change and more proactive about looking for the blessings.
So, let your inner beauty have a voice and rejoice in it!
Third, we live in a world where we have access to “the world” in real time. Anything we want to see and anywhere we want to experience is pretty much at our fingertips. But, as I stated before, life’s algorithms push us to seek out the negative and feel guilty when we don’t.
A couple examples: How many of you spend time looking at all the negative comments about a movie, a concert, a place you want to visit or eat at before you decide to go there? How many of you stress about all the negative things that can happen when visiting family and friends, instead of focusing on all the joyful possibilities?
Again, the push for us to choose the negative has us automatically second guessing everything. Maybe the restaurant isn’t as good as we imagine. Maybe travelling to Europe isn’t as safe as we hope it would be. Maybe my dream job isn’t going to be so dreamy if what I’m reading on-line is true. Maybe my grandma will be crabby or my cousins boring.
And…maybe you will get cancer or divorced or struck by lightning. Yep, bad stuff happens to all of us. That is a fact. So, rewire yourself to seek out the positive without hesitation. Don’t let the advertisers, the influencers, the negativity peddlers rob you of your joy. And forget the guilt. We can’t predict every negative thing in life. And to be honest, if we could, life would be boring.
I recently planned a trip to Chicago with my daughter and when planning for the trip, instead of just entering into the internet search engine, “Things to do in Chicago”, where I was guaranteed to see a plethora of negative feedback, I instead input the following:
“Fun and Positive Only” things to Do in Chicago.
Sounds silly I know, but…
Over 100 different activities popped up, all FUN and AFFORDABLE and there was not a single negative comment on any of the activities! The exciting thing was that these activities led us to discover other positive experiences (impromptu salsa dancing in Millennium Park comes to mind) and all told, it was one of the best vacations I have ever had.
So, my point is this, you can be glad. You really can. You can ignore the negative and seek out the positive EVERY SINGLE TIME! See that movie you want. Enjoy new restaurants. Visit family and friends without worry.
Let the world see the real you…your inner gladness.
Do not hesitate to post to your Facebook or Instagram the fun you are having. So, what if someone thinks:
What an ego! What a self-absorbed narcissist! What a phony!
Who cares what they think, because you will know the positive truth because you are living it!!!
You are the living embodiment of gladness and what Psalm 118:24 is all about.
REJOICE. OWN IT. SHARE IT. Life is too short not to SHOUT IT TO THE WORLD!
I AM GLAD!!!
This is the day the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
All are welcome to like and follow PositivelyAnne. Let me know what brings you joy and gladness? How do you push back on the negative in life?