I’d argue that there’s a difference between “reframing” and “denial,” and that this macro captures the importance of that distinction.
A reframe for “I’m worried” can be as simple as “I feel worried right now because I don’t have a sense of control over a situation that really matters to me. I know that this feeling will pass and that it will probably happen again.”
Instead of not complaining at all, maybe something like, “I want to examine the source of my irritation when I feel calmer to decide whether it was a defensive response or if it is really important to address.” It can be worthwhile to reframe the urge to complain, but it depends entirely on the situation. Sometimes complaints are necessary for change to happen, and in those cases people who offer gratitude as an alternative to frustration often want stasis, power, or both.
I might counter the suggestion to “keep going” with the words of one Kenny Rogers: “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away.” Persistence without purpose isn’t necessarily laudable. A reframe might just be a pause: “If can make it through the next five minutes, I can check in with myself again.”
The message on the macro could be paraphrased as, “Don’t stress, don’t whine, don’t rest!”
If you are experiencing a common response to a trying situation, STOP! Do something else instead.
That’s how you do healthy.
Ungood feelings are definitely not appropriate responses to inappropriate circumstances. Your feelings are wrong and they need to be corrected.
If you haven’t learned to eliminate your human stress response by praying, then you’re really just asking for an ulcer.
If you can’t solve a huge systemic problem by practicing individual gratitude, you’re really just an ungrateful leech.
If you haven’t managed to persevere in the face of overwhelming resistance, were you even really trying?
I just don’t know why so many anxious and depressed people miss these obvious solutions to simple problems.
Life is mysterious, I tell ya.
With respect to the image:
I don’t know that “Thank god I remembered to bring my big red umbrella today so I can finish this shitty winter beach walk” should really be the takeaway here, and yet it seems to be supported by the text.
It’s okay to give up on your walk that turned out to be windier than expected.
As always, I grant that there is often a nugget (or more) of valuable insight tucked into the questionable folds of these macros.
So I’ll affirm the message that your authentic self has inherent value.
But enough of that talk.
Do you really want to hang out with anyone who goes around designating whole-ass humans as “right” and “wrong”?
“Don’t change . . . and the right people will love you.”
I can’t help reading “change is bad” as the dominant message, when “you deserve love” is probably a more salient takeaway.
I get that the macro aims to convey a simple message. “Right” people will naturally gravitate to other “right” people, who love each other as they are. But this also implies the existence of “wrong” people with the “wrong” kind of love, and dang.
That just doesn’t hold water.
Sometimes, the “wrong” people can sound a lot like the “right” people because they are enabling you to suck and/or to not really be yourself.
Sometimes self-proclaimed “right” people, who give you lots of supportive lip service, secretly thrive on shaming you from their high, high horses (and I mean tall-type high, y’all, not stoned ponies).
A lot of change-resistant folx like to invoke the defense that “I’m just being who I am / telling it like it is!” when they’re really just being intransigent assholes.
Sometimes, changing in response to the fact that people don’t like you is called “growth.”
There are always people with a vested interested in your being ignorant, downtrodden, demotivated, and dependent, and so they don’t want you to grow.
And those people just might be your family and friends, whose opinions may seem exactly like the “right” ones to value.
Those apparently “right” people might be the loudest about delivering the words to your ears that “they love you just how you are,” without bothering to specify that what they love about how you are is your willingness to permit them to suck and/or not grow.
“Be yourself” is not necessarily bad advice, but don’t fool yourself into believing that you never need to change or that “right” people even exist.
In terms of the image chosen to accompany this quote, I feel like a coffee-maker should be participating in the good times.
I mean, we’ve got toast and toaster together. Coffee and coffee-maker feels like a natural parallel, right?
The coffee is just personified by its vessel, though.
I wonder why toast is a sentient entity, but coffee is not.
Granted, I’m not aware of any liquids with personalities, but none of these characters are technically living things anyway, so at that point I don’t see why a solid state is a necessary criterion for a face.
They also all have exactly the same face, and I’m struggling with that.
It is a very cheerful face, for what it’s worth.
Anyway, when you think about it, toast is really just bread that has changed to be better liked by those who encouraged it to change in the first place.
The bread / toast depicted here always had intrinsic value, but its appliance buddies certainly seem thrilled with the outcome of the toasting.
Does this technically make them the wrong people (or people-like things) for pressuring their bread friend to change according to their preference? Or are they the right people-like things because they love that the toast is being its authentic self?
We can’t know if the bread became toast with the goal of being better liked by the coffee mug and toaster (and I question whether the toaster is able to recognize the influence of its own cultural bias).
If the bread decided to change just to earn the shallow approval of its judgey friends, then the message is kind of like, “Have a little self-respect, Bread.”
But if the change was motivated by truth-to-self rather than desire for popularity, it’s good that the appliances approve of the change, right? “Yay for Toast!”
Where does our ability to evaluate motive begin and end?
All we know for sure is that the visible impact of Bread’s choices is that it is now Toast.
Everyone looks happy, but that doesn’t mean everyone is happy.
I really want to believe that Giant Coffee Mug isn’t judging Toast because of its own projected shame.
I want to believe that Toast is living its best life, surrounded by its supportive friends.
In that case, we all deserve the kind of love that Toast has.
Granted that joy is just a lifestyle choice that’s unconnected to circumstance, I still kind of wish that @mindfulfitness didn’t have to flaunt their joyfulness all the time.
You’re joyful. I get it. Keep shoveling.
Unless there’s a possibility that joyfulness isn’t any more of a lifestyle choice than sadness?
And that real people who experience real joy in their daily lives are actually less likely to make a big deal about it than aggressively sad people?
And maybe really joyful people aren’t secretly trying to get everyone to fall in line with their nefarious pro-shoveling agenda?
And real people who experience real sadness, frustration, and apathy can actually just not be super into snow without channeling their misguided and possibly jealous resentment toward their more joyful neighbors?
That kind of holds up.
Maybe it’s okay to talk about your joy or sadness and it doesn’t necessarily mean you made better or worse choices than anyone else.
But then how am I supposed flaunt my emotional superiority?
I’m gonna try to be funny, but I honestly almost burst some blood vessels when I first read this.
Just so we’re clear, my right eyeball nearly exploded because I am bad at having responses to things that exist.
Not because of the way that this image macro is.
The fact that it’s possible for humans to persevere in the face of unfavorable circumstances is inspiring.
And it’s fair to remember that our knee-jerk responses to upsetting situations do not always dictate the most reasonable course of action.
But it is a slippery, slippery slope that slides us from “be mindful of your reactions” to “if the way life exists around you creates negative feelings inside of you, then your feelings are the real problem.”
The latter interpretation is especially popular among folx who want to rationalize the inevitability of structural and systemic issues like poverty.
“Those people who are struggling are just having bad responses to normal circumstances, and people who are successful have better responses!”
Across all situations, any dissatisfaction you ever feel is just a problem with your feelings-haver.
Sexism isn’t limiting your career. It’s your rage about patriarchy that’s holding you back! So relax.
Climate change isn’t stressful. Your house just happens to sometimes get in the way of naturally-occurring disasters, so you should really be grateful that you have a house! Just breathe deep.
Homophobia isn’t preventing you from adopting children. It’s your choice to prioritize your own life goals over the unfounded anxiety of random straight people! Go ahead and chill.
Your poverty isn’t preventing upward social mobility. You’re just poor because of your choice to not cope more effectively with your chronic depression, which is unrelated to your poverty! Smile for once.
Racism isn’t making people call the police on you for existing in a public space. It’s your conscious decision to not have a better attitude about the possibility that those people might have to want to call the police on you for co-existing in their space that’s really the problem! Ease up.
The picture here feels like a Photoshop tutorial.
Like, “Find a background and two images, and combine them!”
So, as an outcome of an exercise like that: “okay job, Photoshopper!
Some of those edges are crisp, and I am comfortable pretending that the butterfly isn’t sitting on a flower!