Why Activism’s a Blessing (and a CURSE)!

๐Ÿšจ PRO vs. ANTI ๐Ÿšจ

๐Ÿ‘ You CAN be a Democrat and not be Anti-Republican.

๐Ÿ‘ You CAN be a Capitalist and not be Anti-Communist.

๐Ÿ‘ You CAN be a Vegetarian and not be Anti-Carnivore.

๐Ÿ‘ You CAN be a Businessperson and not be Anti-Government.

๐Ÿ‘ You CAN be an Atheist and not be Anti-Religion.

๐Ÿ‘ You CAN be a Feminist and not be Anti-Men.

๐Ÿ‘ You CAN support Black Lives Matter and not be Anti-Police.

๐Ÿ‘ You CAN support Economic Growth and not be Anti-Environment.

๐Ÿ‘ You CAN support MeToo and not be Anti-Skeptical.

๐Ÿ‘ You CAN support Justice and not be Anti-Civil.

๐Ÿ‘ You CAN support Local Businesses and not be Anti-Corporations.

๐Ÿ‘ You CAN support Spirituality and not be Anti-Science.

๐Ÿ‘ You CAN support Ending Racism and not be Anti-White.

๐Ÿ‘ You CAN support Eating Healthy and not be Anti-Junk Food.

It doesn’t have to be one OR the other. ๐Ÿ™‚

I support activism, AND I caution activism that’s without any critical thinking and self-criticism. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

๐–๐ž ๐‚๐€๐ ๐›๐ฎ๐ข๐ฅ๐ ๐š ๐›๐ซ๐ข๐๐ ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐ซ ๐๐จ๐ฐ๐ง ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ๐ž’๐ฌ. ๐ŸŒ‰

Support the causes you believe in. Be a part of the change you wish to see. Set the example for others to follow. ๐Ÿ™Œ

Just be sure to keep an eye out when your focus has shifted from being more Pro to more Anti. ๐Ÿ‘€

๐๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐  ๐๐ซ๐จ โค๏ธ ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐  ๐€๐ง๐ญ๐ข ๐Ÿคฌ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐œ๐ž ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐๐ข๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ญ๐ฌ.

Why Shoveling Is FUN!

๐Ÿ˜„ ๐’๐‡๐Ž๐•๐„๐‹๐ˆ๐๐† ๐ˆ๐’ ๐…๐”๐!!! ๐Ÿ˜„

๐ˆ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐œ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ฐ๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฏ๐ž๐ง๐ข๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐ž๐š๐ง๐ข๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ…๐œ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ. โค๏ธ

Last Sunday we had a blizzard in Chicago. As the inches piled up and the storm raged on, I decided to bundle myself up, step outside, and shovel the driveway. ๐ŸŒจ๏ธ

But in doing so I could hear that little voice in my head which was saying:

๐Ÿ—ฃ โ€œ๐˜‹๐˜–๐˜•๐˜ˆ๐˜“๐˜‹, ๐˜›๐˜๐˜๐˜š ๐˜๐˜š ๐˜—๐˜–๐˜๐˜•๐˜›๐˜“๐˜Œ๐˜š๐˜š!โ€ ๐Ÿ—ฃ

To be fair, this voice had a point! Why? Because the townhouse association I live under already provides snow plowers to do everyoneโ€™s driveways! ๐Ÿ˜…

In other words, I had no reason to step outside my warm, cozy home and out into the freezing cold to perform a job which was already going to be done for me! ๐Ÿคฃ

And yet…I did have a reason! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Have you ever done something you felt really proud of, yet in the eyes of others it could easily be seen as โ€œ๐˜—๐˜–๐˜๐˜•๐˜›๐˜“๐˜Œ๐˜š๐˜šโ€?

๐Ÿ“Œ You run a marathon…yet you NEVER need to run 26 miles in your life!

๐Ÿ“Œ You play a sport…yet you NEVER need to place yourself in harm’s way for bodily injuries!

๐Ÿ“Œ You learn a new skill…yet you NEVER need to learn one because you can always hire someone with the same skill!

Are we just masochists?! Do we just enjoy experiencing discomfort for the sake of it?! ๐Ÿ˜…

Not quite! ๐Ÿ›‘

I doubt most people would say they do it primarily for the pain. I know I donโ€™t! ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฉ๐š๐ข๐ง ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ข๐ญ! ๐ƒ๐ข๐ฌ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ข๐ญ!

When I stepped outside last Sunday, I knew what I was getting myself into!

๐Ÿฅถ I KNEW the snow would blanket my face!

๐Ÿฅถ I KNEW the cold air would leak under my gloves!

๐Ÿฅถ I KNEW I would be sweating from shoveling!

๐Ÿฅถ I KNEW my muscles would be aching!

And yet…I still enjoyed it!

๐๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ข๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐๐Ž๐“ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐š๐ข๐ง! ๐ˆ๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ ๐ž๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐š๐๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ! โœŠ

๐ˆ๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐, ๐๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐œ๐ก ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ, ๐๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฆ๐ž๐š๐ง๐ข๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ, ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฌ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐œ๐ž๐! ๐Ÿ™Œ

In other words:

๐Ÿ“ You donโ€™t run a marathon just to exhaust your muscles. You also do it to see what your body is capable of.

๐Ÿ“ You donโ€™t play a sport just to risk bodily injuries. You also do it to see how you compete against other players.

๐Ÿ“ You donโ€™t learn a skill just to learn it. You also do it to see what else your brain doesn’t know about the world.

๐ˆ๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐จ๐ง๐ -๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฆ ๐Ž๐”๐“๐‚๐Ž๐Œ๐„, ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ซ๐ญ-๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฆ ๐๐€๐ˆ๐!

As I was shoveling, I got so much into the flow of doing it I even shoveled the sidewalks too!

Again, there were plows for that too, but I didnโ€™t care! ๐Ÿ˜

There’s an ancient Greek proverb which echoed in my mind as I kept shoveling: “๐˜ˆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜บ ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ด ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ.” ๐Ÿ™Œ

And once everything was done, I got to fully feel the fruits of my labor! โค๏ธ

๐๐‘๐Ž๐”๐ƒ! ๐Ÿ’ช

๐€๐‚๐‚๐Ž๐Œ๐๐‹๐ˆ๐’๐‡๐„๐ƒ! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

๐€ ๐‰๐Ž๐ ๐–๐„๐‹๐‹ ๐ƒ๐Ž๐๐„! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

“๐Œ๐˜ ๐‚๐Ž๐Œ๐Œ๐”๐๐ˆ๐“๐˜ ๐ˆ๐’ ๐’๐€๐•๐„๐ƒ!” ๐Ÿ—ก๏ธ

“๐“๐‡๐„ ๐ƒ๐‘๐€๐†๐Ž๐ ๐‡๐€๐’ ๐๐„๐„๐ ๐’๐‹๐€๐˜๐„๐ƒ!” ๐Ÿ‰

If I can make a task as “mundane” as shoveling a meaningful experience, I have to ask: what are YOU capable of making meaningful in your life? โค๏ธ

What dragons can you create to slay? What missions can you accept to accomplish? What hero’s journey can you undertake in your own backyard? โš”๏ธ

Because when you don’t have any, I encourage you to create some! The Stoic philosopher Epictetus had a point โฌ‡๏ธ:

“๐˜ž๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ค๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ช๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ, ๐˜ฉ๐˜บ๐˜ฅ๐˜ณ๐˜ข, ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜จ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ข๐˜ณ – ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง? ๐˜ž๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด? ๐Ÿค”

๐˜–๐˜ฃ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฌ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ. ๐˜š๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜ด๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ญ๐˜ถ๐˜น๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ต ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต๐˜บ ๐˜๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ค๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด.” ๐Ÿ˜”

And that’s why I shoveled! It had nothing to do with the plowers! It had everything to do with creating a meaningful life. ๐Ÿ™Œ

๐ˆ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐œ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ฐ๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฏ๐ž๐ง๐ข๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐ž๐š๐ง๐ข๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ…๐œ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ. โค๏ธ

Make life fun, even when there’s no reason to! But just don’t forget that making it fun is YOUR responsibility! ๐Ÿ˜„

Your MOST Important Valentine!

โค๏ธ ๐˜๐Ž๐”๐‘ ๐Œ๐Ž๐’๐“ ๐ˆ๐Œ๐๐Ž๐‘๐“๐€๐๐“ ๐•๐€๐‹๐„๐๐“๐ˆ๐๐„!!! โค๏ธ

What does today’s holiday mean to you?

๐Ÿ’“ A day to share love with the people in your life?

๐Ÿ’˜ A day to spend time with that “special someone”?

๐Ÿ’” A day to remind you of the fact you’re still single?

๐ˆ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐š๐ง๐ฌ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ ๐ข๐ฌ #๐Ÿ‘, ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐œ๐ข๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ!

For all my single friends out there, me being single myself: no need to fret! ๐Ÿ˜

What if I told you, me at age 29, I’ve NEVER been in a relationship?! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

“๐๐‹๐€๐’๐๐‡๐„๐Œ๐˜!!!”โŒ

Don’t get me wrong, I used to DESPERATELY want one myself! Back in high school, I was on ALL the dating sites and apps: Plenty of Fish, OkCupid, Tinder, etc. I had them ALL covered! ๐Ÿ˜…

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ “๐˜ž๐˜ฉ๐˜บ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฑ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ, ๐˜‹๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ?!” ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

At the time I didn’t really know, nor did it ever cross my mind to really ask myself why. All I knew was I simply wanted to be in one! ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I wanted to find that “special someone” that would make me happier. ๐Ÿ™

๐ŸŒŸ BUT THEREIN WAS THE PROBLEM! ๐ŸŒŸ

๐ˆ ๐ก๐ž๐ฅ๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ข๐ง ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐š ๐จ๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ˆ ๐ ๐จ๐ญ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐จ ๐š ๐ซ๐ž๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ก๐ข๐ฉ ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ฆ๐š๐ ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ข๐ž๐ซ.

โค๏ธ ๐˜๐Ž๐”๐‘ ๐Œ๐Ž๐’๐“ ๐ˆ๐Œ๐๐Ž๐‘๐“๐€๐๐“ ๐•๐€๐‹๐„๐๐“๐ˆ๐๐„!!! โค๏ธ

Often we’re taught, especially through romantic stories, that if we’re in a relationship with that “special someone” the heavens will somehow magically open and all will live happily ever after. ๐Ÿ˜Š

It’s quite a romantic way of looking at relationships…but as a teenager I didn’t understand that that was NOT reflective of reality! ๐Ÿ˜…

And I get why we keep believing this idea: We tend to only see the POSITIVE moments of a couple’s relationship, on display in our social lives and for all to see on social media. ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ

We typically don’t hear about the negative or challenging moments that happen in relationships. Who wants to hear that negativity, right?! ๐Ÿ‘

๐–๐ž’๐ซ๐ž ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐ข๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ฌ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ. ๐–๐ž’๐ซ๐ž ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐ข๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฏ๐ข๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง. ๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ณ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐š ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐ข๐ญ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฆ๐š๐ค๐ž๐ฌ ๐š ๐ฅ๐จ๐ง๐ -๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฆ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ก๐ข๐ฉ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐›๐ฅ๐ž. โค๏ธ

But I didn’t know all this as a teenager! So, as a naive teenager, WHY WOULDN’T I want to be in a relationship? They seemed to be nothing but smooth sailing! They looked like mindless fun! ๐Ÿ˜

But it was around 4 years ago that I finally had this big change in perspective around relationships. I made the unanimous decision to UNINSTALL and DELETE ALL the dating apps I was on! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ “๐–๐š๐ข๐ญ, ๐ฐ๐ก๐ฒ?!” ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

Of all the countless hours I had spent on those apps, I had finally become drained of my willingness to keep searching for that “special someone”. ๐Ÿ˜“

If I could take the ratio of time I spent browsing those apps to the amount of time I actually spent talking with someone, it would be like 500 to 1! ๐Ÿ‘Ž

โค๏ธ ๐˜๐Ž๐”๐‘ ๐Œ๐Ž๐’๐“ ๐ˆ๐Œ๐๐Ž๐‘๐“๐€๐๐“ ๐•๐€๐‹๐„๐๐“๐ˆ๐๐„!!! โค๏ธ

Ultimately, my excessive searching was a time-waster! And the worst part of all: I kept making myself feel worse each time I logged off the apps when I had no luck. Each time I blamed MYSELF for it! ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

โš ๏ธ ๐ˆ ๐๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ฅ๐จ๐ฉ๐ž๐ ๐š ๐›๐š๐ ๐ก๐š๐›๐ข๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฎ๐ง๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ซ๐ž๐ข๐ง๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐œ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฆ๐ฒ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ: “๐๐จ ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐š๐ฅ๐ค ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฆ๐ž! ๐ˆ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐ฅ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ง๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ˆ ๐๐ข๐ ๐›๐ž๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž!” โš ๏ธ

…And then holidays like Valentine’s Day came around every year. They would only FURTHER reinforce a cycle of self-pity that I wasn’t in a relationship. And it SUCKED! ๐Ÿ˜ซ

So, you may be asking: what was the “final straw” for me to make such a drastic change?

โค๏ธ ๐˜๐Ž๐”๐‘ ๐Œ๐Ž๐’๐“ ๐ˆ๐Œ๐๐Ž๐‘๐“๐€๐๐“ ๐•๐€๐‹๐„๐๐“๐ˆ๐๐„!!! โค๏ธ

Since my teenage years, I’ve come to greater realizations about why I wanted to be in a relationship in the first place:

โš ๏ธ I thought being in a relationship was the answer to making me happy. But it wasn’t.

โš ๏ธ I thought by being in a relationship, I could seek recognition and validation from others. But I wouldn’t.

โš ๏ธ I thought that if I was in a relationship, it would fill the void of loneliness I felt inside myself. But it wouldn’t.

As awful as it sounds, ๐ˆ ๐ฌ๐š๐ฐ ๐š ๐ซ๐ž๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ก๐ข๐ฉ ๐š๐ฌ ๐š ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ญ๐ฒ, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š ๐ฉ๐จ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐›๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ญ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐š ๐ญ๐จ๐ฒ ๐ˆ ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ฆ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ฆ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐ฅ ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ.๐Ÿงธ

But people aren’t objects! And owning more objects won’t make you fulfilled in the long-term! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

๐Ÿšจ ๐ˆ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ณ๐ž๐ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฐ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐š ๐ซ๐ž๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ก๐ข๐ฉ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐š๐ซ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐’๐„๐‹๐…๐ˆ๐’๐‡ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐’๐„๐‹๐…๐‹๐„๐’๐’. ๐Œ๐ฒ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ “๐–๐„” ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ “๐Œ๐„”. ๐Ÿšจ

How many of us get into a relationship primarily for selfish reasons? I challenge you to seriously think about it! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

So, in sharing my story with you all, I hope you see a part of yourself in this. Sometimes what we’re actually looking for is not that “special someone” but actually something much closer to home. ๐Ÿ 

โค๏ธ ๐˜๐Ž๐”๐‘ ๐Œ๐Ž๐’๐“ ๐ˆ๐Œ๐๐Ž๐‘๐“๐€๐๐“ ๐•๐€๐‹๐„๐๐“๐ˆ๐๐„…๐ˆ๐’ ๐˜๐Ž๐”!!! โค๏ธ

๐ŸŒŸ ๐ƒ๐จ๐ง’๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ ๐ž๐ญ ๐š ๐ซ๐ž๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ก๐ข๐ฉ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ. ๐๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐œ๐š๐ง๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐๐จ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž. ๐ŸŒŸ

Again, for all my single friends out there: no need to fret!

โค๏ธ Relationships are not all sunshine and rainbows. We often don’t see what goes on behind-the-scenes, the ongoing commitment required from both people, or the negative moments which happen in them.

โค๏ธ Inner happiness and fulfillment has to come from YOU first. Fill your cup up first so then you can easily share it with a future lover. If you can’t love yourself first, you can’t expect it to come from someone else, because you’re going to be waiting forever.

โค๏ธ Self-love is one of the greatest gifts you can give. The only person you’re with 100% of your life…is Yourself! So learn to be comfortable in your own company.

โค๏ธ Today is an opportunity for you to change your perspective on how you see relationships. They are not a place you go to GET but a place you go to GIVE, and not being in one DOESN’T determine your self-worth.

Make today a day for you to give love in whatever way you know best! For me, writing this post to share with all of you is one of them! ๐Ÿ˜

Please SHARE this post with anyone who needs to hear this today. Truly, you’re not alone! โค๏ธ

Why Our HUMANITY Matters!

โค๏ธ ๐ˆ ๐€๐Œ ๐€ ๐‡๐”๐Œ๐€๐ ๐๐„๐ˆ๐๐†! โค๏ธ

I am someone who is gayโ€ฆI rarely talk about it. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚โ€

I am someone who is Hispanicโ€ฆI rarely talk about it. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚โ€

I am someone who is Atheistโ€ฆI (especially) rarely talk about it. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚โ€

Why do I rarely talk about these things? ๐Ÿค”

Wellโ€ฆlet’s take a step back. ๐Ÿ‘ฃ

Say you were meeting me for the very first time, and the only information you were given about who I am were these labels: ๐Ÿ“œ

Male. Gay. Hispanic. Atheist.

What kind of person comes to your mind that fits into each of these categories? ๐Ÿค”

What comes to your mind when you think of a โ€œGay Maleโ€? Flamboyant? Feminine? Limp wrists?

What comes to your mind when you think of an โ€œAtheist?โ€ Snobbish? Science-obsessed? Blasphemous?

Nowโ€ฆtake these labels and apply them back to me. And compare these labels to how you ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜บ know me as a person. ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ

Let me ask: do these labels easily fit into your general perception of me? ๐Ÿ˜…

Of Donald Arteaga? ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

If your answer is โ€œnoโ€โ€ฆTHAT is the reason why!

๐Ÿ™Œ ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐จ๐ง ๐ˆ ๐ซ๐š๐ซ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐๐ž๐ฌ๐œ๐ซ๐ข๐›๐ž ๐ฆ๐ฒ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฆ๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฅ๐š๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ˆ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž ๐ฆ๐ž ๐š๐ฌ ๐š ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฆ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐ , ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ, ๐›๐ž๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐š๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ. ๐Ÿ™Œ

Iโ€™d rather we all be judged, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, based upon the content of our character. ๐Ÿ‘ค

๐Ÿ‘ I donโ€™t intend for you to judge me by virtue of my sexual preference.

๐Ÿ‘ I donโ€™t intend for you to judge me by virtue of my race.

๐Ÿ‘ I donโ€™t intend for you to judge me by virtue of my religious affiliation.

โค๏ธ ๐ˆ ๐€๐Œ ๐€ ๐‡๐”๐Œ๐€๐ ๐๐„๐ˆ๐๐†! โค๏ธ

THIS is why I generally donโ€™t provide this information to people upfront. I want you to get to know ME first, minus the preconceptions. ๐Ÿ™‚

๐Ÿ‘€ ๐๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ˆ ๐ž๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ก๐š๐ฌ๐ข๐ณ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฅ๐š๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ˆ ๐š๐ฆ, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ˆ ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐š๐ ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ฅ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฅ๐š๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ. ๐Ÿ‘€

The problem is these labels are only mere facets of who I am as a human being, just as I believe this to be the case for any other human being. ๐Ÿ’Ž

Iโ€™ve held this ideal ever since I started my mission to Transcend Labels in 2018. โณ

The ideal has always been for me to show through my example that people donโ€™t have to be entrenched in their labels. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

The ideal has always been for me to show that my diagnosis of Autism is just a temporary explanation and not a final destination. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

The ideal has always been for me to show how limiting labels are as frameworks for understanding ourselves and other people. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Consider the facts:

๐Ÿ™Œ No one on this planet is 100% exactly the same.

๐Ÿ™Œ No one thinks 100% exactly the same way.

๐Ÿ™Œ No one has lived 100% exactly the same life as another person.

๐๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ข๐ง๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐ข๐ง๐๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ, ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐จ๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐š๐ฅ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ .

๐๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ข๐ง๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐ข๐ง๐๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ, ๐š ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐งโ€™๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐š๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ง๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐๐จ ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฑ, ๐ฎ๐ง๐ข๐ช๐ฎ๐ž ๐ข๐ง๐๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ ๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฎ๐ฌ.

๐๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ข๐ง๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐ข๐ง๐๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ, ๐š ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐งโ€™๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐š๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ง๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐›๐ž ๐š ๐๐ž๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ง๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐จ๐ง๐ž’๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ.

As Ayishat Akanbi put it: “๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐’‡๐’Š๐’™๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’Š๐’…๐’†๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’•๐’š ๐’๐’Š๐’Ž๐’Š๐’•๐’” ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’Š๐’…๐’†๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’•๐’š.” The obsession with oneโ€™s labels become a self-fulfilling prophecy which leaves no room for change, let alone the possibility for personal growth. ๐Ÿ™Œ

For me, my mission to Transcend Labels is a life-affirming philosophy that says we are more than our pasts, more than our circumstances, and that we are capable of becoming more than the people we were yesterday. โœŠ

โค๏ธ ๐ˆ ๐€๐Œ ๐€ ๐‡๐”๐Œ๐€๐ ๐๐„๐ˆ๐๐†! โค๏ธ

Perhaps as you read this, this sounds like common sense to you! ๐Ÿ˜…

Butโ€ฆthings seemed to have changed. ๐Ÿง

Not with my mission; it remains the same. But Iโ€™m talking about within our society. ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

More and more I continue reading about a growing ideology that:

๐Ÿ˜ฑ Encourages people to see each other ONLY for their labels, not for their individuality.

๐Ÿ˜ฑ Encourages people to see each other ONLY for their group identities, not for their common humanity.

๐Ÿ˜ฑ Encourages people to indulge in cognitive biases like mindreading, overgeneralizing, and black-and-white thinking.

This smorgasbord of an ideology has come to be more popularly known as: โ€œbeing wokeโ€.

(๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข ๐˜™๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ข ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ž๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜จ๐˜บ, ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ โ€œ๐˜Š๐˜บ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ด: ๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ˆ๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜š๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฑ ๐˜”๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ ๐˜Œ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜บ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ˆ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜™๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฆ, ๐˜Ž๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜บโ€ ๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜‘๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜“๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜บ & ๐˜๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜—๐˜ญ๐˜ถ๐˜ค๐˜ฌ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ.)

Simply putโ€ฆthe very ideals Iโ€™ve stood for the past few years are in direct opposition to this ideology. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚โ€

So perhaps you can understand why a part of me is fascinated at how this ideology has reached such a wide audience, especially among the political Left, with little Critical (pun intended) examination. ๐Ÿ˜…

Perhaps you can understand my fascination reading about this ideology that argues the very ideals I stand for, the message Iโ€™ve promoted for years, can now be entirely summarized under labels like โ€œwhite supremacyโ€, “white privilege”, “patriarchy”, โ€œracistโ€, โ€œmicroaggressionโ€, and โ€œhatefulโ€. ๐Ÿคจ

โค๏ธ ๐ˆ ๐€๐Œ ๐€ ๐‡๐”๐Œ๐€๐ ๐๐„๐ˆ๐๐†! โค๏ธ

But I get it. โค๏ธ

I understand in these current times A LOT of us are stressed out and worried. I understand itโ€™s hard for anyone to think clearly, let alone rationally, when our minds are shrouded in weeds. ๐Ÿ˜–

๐ˆ ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค ๐ข๐ง ๐ง๐ฎ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž๐, ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฑ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐๐ฌ ๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐œ๐ซ๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ข๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ข๐œ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐๐ฎ๐ซ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž๐ฌ.

If I were to combine every negative event which has happened the past year, I can’t blame someone for not feeling comfortable with all this Uncertainty. ๐Ÿ˜จ

As I saw 1 tweet put it: โ€œ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ญ๐œ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก๐๐ซ๐š๐ฐ๐š๐ฅ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐š๐๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฆ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐œ๐ž๐ซ๐ญ๐š๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ฒ.โ€ โค๏ธ

So yes, I definitely understand that lots of people at this time will be desperate to find something which helps them get back to Certainty, back to some sense of clarity and normalcy, back to some sense of renewed purpose and meaningโ€ฆeven if that means embracing an over-simplistic, fringe ideology like this one. ๐Ÿ™Œ

And THIS is one of the main reasons why Iโ€™ve not spoken up about this topic personally. ๐ˆโ€™๐ฆ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ฅ๐จ๐จ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐š ๐œ๐ก๐ข๐ฅ๐โ€™๐ฌ ๐›๐ฅ๐š๐ง๐ค๐ž๐ญ ๐š๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐ก๐ข๐ฆ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ก๐žโ€™๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐œ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐จ ๐ข๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐๐ž๐š๐ซ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

At the moment, the child needs something, anything to stay calm and feel safe. ๐Ÿ›ก

Donโ€™t get me wrong, there are 100% real problems in our society that still need to be solved. I’m not here to pretend like everything is all fine and dandy. It’s not.

But weโ€™re not going to solve them when weโ€™re making the incorrect diagnoses, which in turn prescribe the wrong solutions. ๐Ÿ‘Ž

๐–๐žโ€™๐ซ๐ž ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ ๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฑ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฌ๐จ๐œ๐ข๐ž๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ-๐ฌ๐ข๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐œ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐œ๐ก ๐ข๐ฌ ๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ. ๐Ÿ‘Ž

But that part of the discussion will be saved for another postโ€ฆ

My point is: THIS is not the way forward. โŒ

โค๏ธ ๐ˆ ๐€๐Œ ๐€ ๐‡๐”๐Œ๐€๐ ๐๐„๐ˆ๐๐†! โค๏ธ

๐Ÿคฌ โ€œ๐‘พ๐‘ฌ๐‘ณ๐‘ณ ๐‘ด๐‘น. ๐‘ฏ๐‘ฐ๐‘ฎ๐‘ฏ-๐‘จ๐‘ต๐‘ซ-๐‘ด๐‘ฐ๐‘ฎ๐‘ฏ๐‘ป๐’€ ๐‘ซ๐‘ถ๐‘ต๐‘จ๐‘ณ๐‘ซ, ๐‘ฎ๐‘ถ๐‘ป ๐‘จ๐‘ต๐’€ ๐‘ฉ๐‘ฌ๐‘ป๐‘ป๐‘ฌ๐‘น ๐‘ฐ๐‘ซ๐‘ฌ๐‘จ๐‘บ?!โ€ ๐Ÿคฌ

I believe I do! And it goes right back to what I was talking about earlier. ๐Ÿ˜Š

๐Ÿ™Œ We move forward by focusing on our common humanity.

๐Ÿ™Œ We move forward by focusing on what we have in common.

๐Ÿ™Œ We move forward by focusing on understanding and less on labeling.

๐–๐ž ๐ƒ๐ˆ๐…๐…๐”๐’๐„ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฅ๐š๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐œ๐š๐ซ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐›๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐จ๐ง ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฆ๐š๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ.

๐–๐ž ๐“๐‘๐€๐๐’๐‚๐„๐๐ƒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐›๐ข๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ฃ๐ฎ๐๐ข๐œ๐ž๐ฌ ๐œ๐š๐ซ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐›๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐จ๐ง ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฆ๐š๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ.

๐–๐ž ๐€๐‚๐Š๐๐Ž๐–๐‹๐„๐ƒ๐†๐„ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐œ๐ก ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐žโ€ฆ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐‚๐‡๐Ž๐Ž๐’๐„ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ ๐ง๐ข๐Ÿ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐Ÿ๐จ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐จ๐ง ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฆ๐š๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ.

For every time we do this, weโ€™ll remind our survival brain whoโ€™s in charge of how we connect with others. ๐Ÿง 

Weโ€™ll remind our survival brain how naรฏve the caricatures we create in our minds about mass groups of people are. ๐Ÿง 

๐ˆ๐Ÿ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐š๐ง๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ๐จ๐ญ๐ž ๐๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ข๐ง ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฌ๐จ๐œ๐ข๐ž๐ญ๐ฒ, ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ง๐ž๐ ๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฎ๐ฌ. ๐‘๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐ฐ๐ž’๐ซ๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ๐ฎ๐œ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ซ๐Ÿ๐š๐œ๐ž.

โค๏ธ ๐ˆ ๐€๐Œ ๐€ ๐‡๐”๐Œ๐€๐ ๐๐„๐ˆ๐๐†! โค๏ธ

Because whatโ€™s the alternative?

๐Ÿ‘Ž A society which is OBSESSED with focusing on what makes us separate from each other.

๐Ÿ‘Ž A society which DISCRIMINATES people based primarily upon their labels.

๐Ÿ‘Ž A society which attempts to solve the problem of prejudiceโ€ฆwith EVEN MORE PREJUDICE.

That doesnโ€™t sound like a desirable outcome, does it? Sounds a bit backwards, right? It’s honestly quite IL-liberal! ๐Ÿ˜…

Butโ€ฆthankfully we donโ€™t have to go down that route! We don’t have to become “woke”! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

I challenge you to come with me and take the road less traveled. Itโ€™s important to remember that just because something is popular in the moment doesnโ€™t automatically mean itโ€™s right. ๐Ÿ‘

I challenge you to come with me and use what might be considered a more โ€œradicalโ€ approach these days to connecting with others:

๐“๐จ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฆ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ. ๐“๐จ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐œ๐ญ, ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ง ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ข๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ง ๐›๐š๐œ๐ค. ๐“๐จ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ง๐ข๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐œ๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ, ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ง ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง ๐๐จ๐ž๐ฌ๐ง’๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐œ๐ข๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ž. ๐“๐จ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ก๐ฎ๐ซ๐ญ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ก๐ฎ๐ซ๐ญ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ž. ๐“๐จ ๐ ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐๐ฎ๐ซ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ.

But if all this sounds too overwhelming, how about just this…?

๐˜๐จ๐ฎโ€™๐ซ๐ž ๐š ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฆ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐ . ๐€๐ง๐ ๐ˆโ€™๐ฆ ๐š ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฆ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐ . ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

๐‹๐ž๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž. ๐Ÿ™‚

๐๐จ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž. ๐€๐ง๐ ๐ง๐จ ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ. โค๏ธ

โค๏ธ ๐ˆ ๐€๐Œ ๐€ ๐‡๐”๐Œ๐€๐ ๐๐„๐ˆ๐๐†, ๐๐Ž๐“ ๐€ ๐’๐„๐“ ๐Ž๐… ๐‹๐€๐๐„๐‹๐’! โค๏ธ

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