Monday, January 11, 2010

We all love it when your life sucks... more than ours.

I've been thinking about this for a while. How those blogs and facebook entries about dead people, lost jobs, health issues, terrible kids, homelessness and despair all get a shitload more comments than the perky wow! look at me! how good I did! posts.

So, is it that we all just feel better about our own sucky life when yours sucks more?
 Or are those anonymous commentators from Boise really trying to help?

A few months ago, someone I hardly know told me that I flaunted how easy of a life I've had.
 I wondered what they were reading? Certainly not my life story. I asked what part was easy exactly?
We had a few discussions about it and I realized IT WAS- as I'm constantly reminded-
THEIR PERCEPTION, not MY REALITY.
They had no idea where I'd been, what I'd done, what had been done to me, not how I made it through or even who I really am today.
So, maybe me trying to sprinkle happy dust on dogshit wasn't the right plan.



Ah, the conundrum.
According to all the self help gurus/sales guys: If you want love and happiness and success and wealth, you have to believe you can achieve, you have to see yourself as loved, happy, rich, powerful, and then you can step into that reality.

That sounds great, but after getting slapped down, it makes me think twice to reveal a slice of happiness on the home front, a chunk of good news, plans for an awesome trip, the way I felt after an incredibly blessed moment at church...
 Especially after a psychic told me there are some people in "my tribe" who do not want me to succeed, don't want me to be happy. I dropped my jaw. "Wha-at? Why?" She shrugged, saying, "Yes, there are people like that in the world. My daughter is one."

wow.

I don't get that. I am honestly happy when people do well and have good things happen to them. Especially if I can call them a friend, because I believe surrounding yourself with success can only motivate you more.
I'm reminded of one of my favorite Zig Ziglar quotes, which I'll paraphrase: "If you want to soar with the eagles, then don't scratch around on the ground with the chickens."

See, to me, it's especially gratifying when someone bucks a trend, rattles societal norms, stands up in the leaky boat and manages to succeed on their own terms. that's like... Rocky to me. I love that so much more than rich heiress makes another million, ex- husband holds out his hand.

I think everyone should want a better life, should strive for as much happiness as they can, Not that they are automatically deserving just because they are alive, but if they put the effort into it, sure, they should be rewarded. But I may not be a great judge of character. My husband is always getting on me for trusting people too much, for seeing something good in them- no matter what. I'm all, "What? She's not really a bitch, she's just wearing tight shoes today. Wait, you'll see. She can be nice. Sorta."

Of course, it's disheartening to see people we love lose their jobs, go through money, health, emotional issues, and it doesn't make it any easier for them when we try to cheer them up telling them how much worse we had it when that same thing happened to us. Right? So what do you do?
Do you stop talking about your good fortune? Do you feel guilty for reaping success with hard work? Do you avoid them- as if their misery is contagious? I have seen how a community can rally with the single spark of one success story. How another area can fall to ruin when the drive to succeed, to better one's life is lost.
Look at history.
It's interesting, isn't it? Something I've been thinking about. Something that will probably end up in a book somewhere someday and you can fold that page over and say, "I think I heard that before."


Success.
So what is it? Is it that old law of averages? If the slot machine next to you hits big, forget pal, there is no way in hell you're going to win today.  When the fatal car crash happens during the morning commute? Go ahead, text and drive on your way home, odds are in your favor you won't die today? And hey, you know when the safest time to fly is? You got it. Right after a big plane crash.
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