What you need to do is to stop being “positive” all the time so that you can become a genuinely better, happier person. For decades we’ve been told that positivity is the key to happiness and that by “just staying positive” you can gloss over any ugly shit in your life you don’t like the looks of.
But we need to stop sugarcoating it, because shit’s fucked up.
And we have to learn to live with it. That let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society is the same movement that wants to give out gold medals just for showing up.
But life’s unfair and there are winners and losers.
And it’s not always fair, or your fault – and sometimes it is. And you have to just step up and own that too, not just the idealised millionaire lifestyle where no struggles or problems ever reach you.
Improving your life doesn’t hinge on learning how to turn lemons into lemonade but on your ability to stomach the lemons better. Or trading them off for different lemons that you’d rather put up with – but you still gotta deal with a shitload of lemons.
Because we humans are flawed and limited. And that’s okay.
In fact, it’s more than okay – it’s beautiful. It’s also ugly. And complicated. And messy. And confusing.
But once you embrace your fears, your faults, your uncertainties, and stop running away you’ll start finding the courage, perseverance, honesty, curiosity, responsibility and forgiveness you’re seeking.
To succeed in life you have to confront the painful truths
Get to know your limitations and accept them. Because there are only so many things you can do in a day, only so many things you have the capacity to care about.
So, you need to figure out which of those things are really important to you and chuck the rest in the fuck-it bucket.
What you want is to live a grounded, contented life. Not prance around like a gay French king flipping through his admirers thinking, “Who pleases me today? Who shall I favour? Who shall I ignore?”. (Props to Jerry Seinfeld’s 23 Hours To Kill for that image! If you haven’t already watched it, go find it on Netflix asap!)
While having a perfect life is nice, caring about what you with your life is better.
Your true wealth is your experience, your relationships, and the grace with which you treat those you love.
The point is, most of us struggle throughout our lives by caring about too many things, giving too many fucks in situations where fucks do not deserve to be given, as Mark Manson puts it.
Fucks given everywhere. Strewn about like seeds in mother-fucking springtime. And for what purpose? For what reason? Convenience? Easy comforts? A pat on the fucking back maybe?– Mark Manson, The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck*
Reserving your fucks for only the most worthy things makes life so much simpler.
Failure becomes less terrifying because you don’t feel like you’re constantly failing at everything. You’ll stop worrying if you’re skinny enough, or pretty enough, or feminine enough, or caring enough, or giving enough, and worry about being happy instead.
Rejection becomes less painful because your life doesn’t hinge on that one thing going your way. This is why I hate competition shows where they make it seem like if you don’t win this one TV show, you’ve missed your chance to be a singer, or a chef, or a wife.
No! You are the master of your own destiny.
If you want to change something, change it. If you want to achieve something, achieve it. If you want to become something, become it. It’s all in your hands.
And if you just start giving just a few, more consciously directed fucks, life’s gonna get pretty simple.
You’re not born knowing how to do this, you have to learn it. Developing the ability to control and manage what it is that you’re really gonna spend your energy caring about is the essence of strength and integrity.
And I know it’s hard. Especially when you’re an empath.
Because your heart goes out to everyone and everything.
But if you want to stop feeling overwhelmed and exhausted all the time, you need to become the gatekeeper of your own energy.
In the eloquent words of Alternative Ulster:
“When life tries to get you down, turn that frown upside down, kill the kind and take his crown, so chuck it in the fuck-it bucket.
“When your date’s running late, don’t just moan and masturbate, you’re the master of your own fate, so chuck it in the fuck-it bucket.
“When Satan gives you his ‘eat shit’ stare, take that hump up on his dare, show him that you just don’t care, and chuck it in the fuck-it bucket (serve him his ass medium-rare).
“When that smell is over-ripe, don’t just gag, bitch and gripe, smoke it in your ‘don’t care’ pipe, and chuck it in the fuck-it bucket.
“So, never cry over spilt milk, never shrink, and never wilt, stand tall and lift up your kilt, and chuck it in the fuck-it bucket.“