Haters Are My Motivation

So today as I was walking around the city I saw a shirt that read “Haters are my Motivation.” And all I could think was “what a terrible motivation.” And as often happens with me I just couldn’t get this random thirty-second encounter out of my head. I mean I see where she’s coming from, it sounds like a quote someone would post on Tumblr.

In a direct sense, I suppose it’s only fair to admit that it probably means that if you already have “haters” you shouldn’t let it affect you negatively and instead let it fuel your fire to succeed. Yet why hold on to wounded pride as a motivator, isn’t there greater freedom in taking a page from Princess Elsa’s playbook and completely letting it go?

In my experience the road to happiness is love and if your pride is wounded it is indicative that you insist on loving yourself for a reason instead of loving yourself simply because you are. And using your success as revenge to give you a smug satisfaction in being able to lord it over your enemies is a weak band-aid at best, because then instead of having one group of people consumed with hate you have two, the original haters and yourself who responded to their hatred of you with a mutual hatred for them. And, ironically, I would argue that loving your enemies is the better path because it allows you to reject harboring hatred in your heart and avoid the ultimate punishment of becoming exactly like them.

So have I over-thought this t-shirt? Absolutely. Over-thinking is one of my talents. But I point it out because the world always encourages you to be happy by satisfying yourself by every worldly standard, by “earning” every luxury, success, and victory. It is a model that insists your happiness should depend on attaining some worldly thing, whether it be success, or a nice car, or a committed relationship, and your power and self-worth is subsequently determined by how successful you are in getting that thing. “Haters” may fuel your desire to get that thing you want even more and you could, if you wanted to, rub it in their face when you get it.

But this way of life is a lie because it makes you a slave, a slave to whatever it is you are desiring because it makes your happiness contingent on the things of this world. Not the things that you have in the present moment but the things you anticipate having in your future, a future which is unreliable and cannot be controlled as much as society would lead you to believe. Moreover, even if you do accomplish your goal the feeling of accomplishment is not by its nature able to perpetually satisfy you and at best you will just end up in this cycle again as you pursue the next desire.

And I point this out because on a personal level I want more to my life than a succession of 5-year plans designed with outpacing my competition and my “haters” in mind. I firmly believe it’s so much easier to be happy simply by letting God love you because then your happiness can be as constant as God Himself.

And why complicate something so wonderfully and profoundly simple as that?

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100th post

So today is a very special day because as of right now I have officially written 100 BLOG POSTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is exciting. I feel like a little kid who has had too much sugar. I’m pretty psyched that the blog has continued for this long and that I’ve managed to write this much without (I hope) compromising the integrity of the writing itself. Even though I’ve got a long way to go, I’ve learned a ton about blogging and I’ve really enjoyed it thus far. Doesn’t it feel like just yesterday I didn’t even understand how to properly use a tag?

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To commemorate the day I thought I’d also make a list in no particular order of things I wish I also had a hundred of:

  1. puppies
  2. paid vacation days
  3. thousand dollars
  4. amazing new blog post ideas
  5. Barnes and Noble gift cards
  6. student loan discounts
  7. hours to sleep
  8. cardigans
  9. days at the beach
  10. french fries (I wouldn’t finish but I’d like to see it)
  11. restaurants in walking distance from my office
  12. coffee mugs
  13. straight days to work on a book I’m trying to write
  14. pairs of shoes
  15. bookmarks
  16. bundles of yarn
  17. well-matched outfits
  18. more likes for my blog’s Facebook page and other social media
  19. feet of storage in my closet
  20. flavors of liquid coffee creamer in my office
  21. daisies
  22. extra hours to volunteer
  23. vouchers for Kennywood (the best amusement park EVER that just happens to be located in western PA)
  24. views of this post
  25. offers to write for publications I respect
  26. years on my domain name agreement
  27.  journals
  28. plane tickets to visit friends scattered across the country
  29. scarves (one can never have too many)
  30. phone chargers
  31. computer techs at my disposal to help me with my technology
  32. free months of Netflix
  33. years til my Driver’s license expires
  34. decent chap sticks
  35. bobby pins
  36. stationary cards of different varieties
  37. stamps
  38. days left of my Amazon prime free trial
  39. tickets to Pittsburgh sporting events
  40. cases of Sparkling water (I’m addicted)
  41. more ideas to put on this list because this is my last one

I hope this list gave you a chuckle. Thanks so much for being a fabulous reader and/or subscriber. Here’s to at least 100 more posts!

Lightening Bugs

Ever get so caught up on big things ahead that you miss the little moments that make life grand?

I hate when I do that. Because I get so caught up worrying about whether
or not I will be happy in the future that I forget to be happy now, in the present. It distracts me from my littler way of just sharing whatever the moment holds with God, the method that fills even the mundane with a little bit of magic. Yet I admit sometimes, in lb2.jpgthose moments where I encounter God, I get tempted to try and overcontrol my life to have more of those moments.  It takes me back to when I was a little girl on my great-uncle’s farm where, just as the sun started to set, about a million lightening bugs would appear just beyond the fence at the edge of his property. Every time my siblings and I would see them, I’d always try to catch one and hold on to it. As if by holding on to the lightning bug I could also capture the moment, because I worried that if I let it float away it might not float back again.

And it’s hard to trust in those moments because there is something so special about them that you don’t want to risk losing them. And with God that feeling is amplified, because I find myself never wanting to move further away, only closer. And the closer I get I start to notice that everything that used to matter sort of doesn’t anymore. Not to be confused with disinterest, but rather more like discovering that your old priorities have eroded away and have been replaced with better ones, and suddenly everything seems possible. 

And I’m left sitting in wonder at the whole thing.