Sending Love And Light Is Bullshit And Some Other Things I’m Talking About In Therapy

1. I’ve learned something revolutionary lately. Apparently, you have to ask for the things you want and need. Apparently, it isn’t selfish to ask things of other people. Apparently, asking for things is (sometimes! not all the time! but a good portion of the time!) the best way to actually, you know, get those things.

The reason why we avoid asking for things usually falls into two categories. One, we don’t think we need to and two, we don’t think we should have to. But the thing is, if you want something from someone, you can’t just expect that they’re going to telepathically pick up on what that request is and just magically hand it over to you.

You have to ask. 

I understand the belief that you don’t need to ask. That you can just accomplish whatever without anyone’s help and independently manifest shit. And yes! Sometimes you can and that’s great. But chances are if other people are involved and you don’t hold all the cards, you’re going to need a hand in at least some way. Without asking, you’re possibly screwing yourself out of achieving the very thing that you want. And the only person you will have to blame for that is yourself, not the person who was never asked to help you in the first place.

On the note of not thinking you should have to ask for things, that things should fall into your lap because you for some reason “deserve” them to, that, my friend, is called entitlement. And you’re frankly not really entitled to anything. Honestly, you’re not. Especially if you don’t even have the ability or willingness to ask for it in the first place, then you’re DEFINITELY not entitled to those things. That’s the opposite of “deserve” in my opinion.

So, that’s something revolutionary. If you want the promotion, ask for it. If you want to see someone again, ask them to hang out with you. If you want a recommendation, ask for it. If you want something, you ask for it. Step one in the direction of achieving, you just have to ask.

2. One of the things that inevitably happens as we get older is friendships dissolve. The reality is that post-school, post-college, post-moving, post-marriage, post-growing up and having your own life, relationships will shift and not remain the same. Things like significant others, moving, distance, and even just changing as a person come into play and your dynamics with other people change and morph along with life.

And sometimes, that means you’re just not close with people anymore.

And it’s sad! It’s a bummer! It’s really hard to watch someone who used to be important to you continue to have a life without you in it in any capacity.

But what you can’t do when that inevitably happens is try to shove your way back into their life. 

Think about it. It’s almost like showing up to someone’s house with no warning or invitation, ringing their doorbell repeatedly, and then acting like they’re a bitch for wondering what the hell you’re doing there in the first place. Insisting on trying to claw your way back into someone’s life, demanding attention that they clearly do not want to give you isn’t trying to relight the flame of a friendship. It’s refusing to respect that someone’s moved on, even if you haven’t. It’s at its mildest rude and at its worst emotional manipulation.

So what do you do? What do you do when someone you love (or loved) doesn’t really want you in their life anymore?

Honestly? You let them go.

It’s all you really can do. Clinging to the past, refusing to realize that no response *is* a response, and refusing to have a life without those people is just metaphorically picking at a scab over and over again and wondering why it won’t heal. If you want to heal, you have to leave things alone. Even if it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.

3. I am trying to forgive my parents for being people. There isn’t a lot to say about it. Parenthood doesn’t absolve you from being human. If anything, it means you’re probably going to screw up more. But I’m trying to forgive them for the things that have hurt or the things I wish were different or the things that have let me down. I’m trying to remember that even though we’re all adults, they’re also still trying. That they do not have all the answers. That they are people. I hope they can forgive me for being a person too.

4. I’ve been talking with a friend a lot about the hidden toxicity in the wellness community and how there’s so much emptiness, hypocrisy, and really just bullshit behind their wellness posts. “Sending love and light” is their mantra. It’s almost as if they believe love and light can absolve them of any sort of accountability in actually DOING something other than posting an inspirational quote or a fucking peace sign. They just put out that love and light, those good vibes, and that’s enough.  Someone’s sick? Love and light. Someone’s heart is ripped open? Love and light, babe. They’ve wronged someone? Love and light to you. Another mass shooting? You guessed it—L&L.

But here’s the thing with love and light and thoughts and prayers and all of those well wishes that are really just words coming from a place of no substance. Love and light and thoughts and prayers are synonymous with, “I don’t actually care that much about this.” 

If all you can—sorry, strike that—all you want to offer is quiet advocacy and some love, you truly don’t care enough to make those thoughts and prayers and light actually actionable. Because love and light? It’s honestly a dismissal. It means you’re not interested in holding others, or yourself, accountable. It’s because you know that if you are held responsible for what you do or channeling your words into actual actions, you will fail or be forced to face your own discomfort with something that’s not so love and light and everything’s sunny and hopeful.

Actions really do speak louder than words. And love and light? Thoughts and prayers? They’re utterly useless. What do you do with them? Give me something I can do something with. Not just your empty words that you throw out to try and placate someone who wants you to show up and give them something they can actually use. I don’t want your love and light. I want you to actually build love and light, not just say it.

5. I am angry. I am so angry at the state of the country where I live, I am so disappointed in people who I grew up with for being so willfully ignorant, I am so terrified that this is a mess we can’t clean up. I am frustrated with other women who don’t see their internalized misogyny or refuse to acknowledge the privilege they have that they do not wield for change. I am tired of repeating, “Your life probably won’t change and that’s why you’re privileged as a cis-white-man. That’s the definition of privilege. Those factors not making your problems worse,” every time men start monologuing to me about how privilege doesn’t exist. I’m sick of explaining why this matters, why people should care, why apathy isn’t an option, why being loud is important. I’m worried. I’m mad that I have to BE this worried because we have old dinosaurs in charge who are just concerned with holding onto money they don’t even need because they’re dying and who don’t actually care that kids get shot at school. I’m irritated at my own limitations and annoyed with myself for the things I could be doing more of each day, for the things I should’ve been doing a long time ago. But most of all, I am angry.

But I am trying to stay angry.

Because angry beats hopeless. I can do something with angry. Hopeless will bury me, it will bury all of us. But anger will dig us out. Even if we’re furious that we have to be holding the shovel in the first place. TC mark

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