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A Perfect Meme for Today

Updated: Apr 6

Good Morning My Confidants

I was a bit discombobulated this morning and then found this meme and it was just what I needed.

One of my husbears is in a bear-ish mood (not the sexy kind) and my daughter, who is coming over today, has already yelled at me. I don't do well with that kind of stuff. Never have. But just coming out of this funk I've been in for a few years, I still haven't developed the skills to deal with this stuff and not go into an anxiety attack. I need a therapist and I am trying to figure out how to do/afford that.

And then I found this meme! Perfect! Oh, yes!

See, the grouchy husbear has been in full-fledged overtime, and the days are 12-hours long and he usually doesn't have to work more than four days a week, but there has been a lot with quarter-end overtime. So Of course he is getting bear-ish. And my daughter? Well, I guess I passed on the gene for anxiety, and when she goes down, she wants to take everybody with me.

On top of that, I have this friend who is always wanting to engage people in their activism and point out all the ills in the world, and that can put me in a spin as well. They are always pointing out them "Yeah, buts...." and it's always been that way. No matter how good something might be, they find the "Yeah, but...." It's exhausting. And I have tried to point that out, that they are so angry and bitter because that is all they ever ever ever focus on, and that is probably why they are always so tired. Being angry all the time is exhausting.

And more and more I am figuring out (I have been figuring this out for decades, but the TRUTH of in all gets clearer and clearer) that you really can't help people unless they truly want to be helped and most of them don't. They hold onto their anger and resentments like a miser holds onto a gold coin. I have certainly learned (long ago) that people do NOT want unsolicited advice. And just because they—for instance—post about it or drown you in whatever the problem(s) are on the phone or over coffee does NOT mean they want you to offer solutions. Most people seem to NEED the drama they are involved in.

So here is my thing.... How do I—when I am working hard in being a non-drama person—be around drama without wading in? How do I just let in flow over and past me without getting involved. How do I listen, and care about the person, without getting caught up in their storms?

No easy. Especially when I am trying to figure out my own problems and issues and learn how to let them go?

Over the last two days I have...discussed an issue with my Activist friend. This is someone that has been arrested I don't know how many times for their public protesting. I understood it when they are in their early twenties. I certainly went through my activism period. But this person and their friends are more in the ACT-UP league of protesters rather than the carry signs kind of protester. And it is like speaking to a brick wall. What has helped is that I have realized that they probably think that they are speaking to a brick wall as well. They see these INJUSTICES in the world and it upsets them so much and they want EVERYONE to know about them!

But often, what they are objecting to is the equivalent of being angry about gravity. And when I try and redirect them to using that energy for something that they can change, I only piss them off more.

Now here is the part that struck me.

I thought our discussion was over when I suddenly, after I don't know how many hours, they engaged me again. Now this was about twenty minutes or so before I had to leave for work and Noah had just gotten home. I could see their frustration and astonishment that I didn't agree with them and just how the FUCK could I and everyone other single breathing organism on this planet also not agree with them?

SO.... I used my whole twenty minutes pulling up quotes and links to various online articles, in what I was thinking was a rather brilliant "essay," and when I didn't finish before I had to leave, I figured I would wrap things up at stoplights.

And the—FINALLY—it hit me that they were only going to argue back. They weren't going to rock back and realize just how "brilliant" BG Thomas is and change their entire way at viewing the world. They were NOT interested in dialogue. They were NOT interested in seeing both sides.


Instead of spending that precious twenty minutes with my wonderful husband, I WASTED it trying to write some scintillating "essay" that wasn't going to make any difference anyway! And even IF they actually thought about what I had to say, what was I doing arguing the issue with them anyway?

It was not important!

I took a look at their Facebook page and post after post after post after post after post after post after post was about all the injustices in the world. How crappy our government is. How awful it is that whatever or whichever marginalized group is being treated. There isn't one single funny meme. Not one picture of them spending they day with their spouse doing something fun. Not one puppy photo. No jokes. No movie or television or book reviews.

I—when cornered—mentioned this to them once and asked them if they were happy, and they insisted they were and wondered how I could be happy when I insisted on living in a "Pollyannaish" world with my ridiculous positive world. They wanted to know if I understood "toxic positivity" and when I expressed that I certainly knew what it was (I had a boss who refused to try and fix any problems and wanted everyone to just smile and stop complaining and things got worse and worse until she was eventually fired for it). This person said that it was clear from my posts that I didn't understand what toxic positivity was.

That it is looking for the positive when I SHOULD be looking at the negative and I was fully engaged in doing just that.

Well, maybe they didn't say that exactly, but it seemed pretty clear to me (I could be wrong) that is what they meant.

I know there is injustice in the world! I know that! And when there is something I can do about it, I do. And I have confronted crazy conspiracy-theory nut-balls and tried to get them to see the light.

And you know what happened? Nothing! Nothing at all. Those people who think the election was stolen, and that vaccines make you emit something into the air that causes cancer (I forget the word), and that I am stupid for thinking we ever landed on the moon, and that Bill Gates planted leprosy in the Florida Everglades...they still think that. I am not changing their minds.

So more and more and more I don't engage them. Why waste my time and energy?

Why not instead use that energy to love my husbands and family and friends? Maybe get off my fat ass and do something around the house? Or walk the dogs, because I need the exercise?

What is so ridiculous is that I figured this out LONG ago and have somehow recently been getting swept up in all that crap again. I guess having an insurrectionist running for president (I refuse to capitalize that word for him) and having women's rights stripped from them and a host of other things can do that to me.

Thing is, I can be involved with those issues without plunging myself into the tarpits of those issues. It only makes me sick.

Be in the world, but not of that particular world.

It is just like the Noble Truths teach. The world can truly be a miserable place. But my misery is caused by what those things that I fill me brain and heart.

I can fight for what's right without wallowing in negativity.

I can dream of a better world and help make it a better world.

I can be the change I want to see in the world.

I can treat others fairy. I can stand up for the rights of—and support—my trans friends, women's rights to control their own bodies, People of Color, children, freedom of religion of those who are not Christian, people who have no religion, GLBT peoples and more.

And I can do all this without being ugly and playing the same tactics as those who cause so much harm to the world.

I can be a positive influence.

AND I can be ready to listen.

So, I can listen to my angry friend and honor their words—make sure that they are heard—without swirling down the drain.

A dear friend just now said to me, "Be your normal cheerful self and it will rub off."


That really says it all.

And that is a big part of my practice now.

To be my normal cheerful self and let it will rub off.

I can be a living example of a better way.

When I was seriously coming out, and in my highest gay rights activism stage, I personally never threw blood on the steps of city hall.

I was simply myself.

And those around me changed their minds about gay people. They did. They came to me over and over and over again saying things like, "Thank you, Ben. I was afraid or uncomfortable when you showed up. I had never really been around (out) gay men. And now I see we are both the same where it really counts and I had nothing to be afraid of at all."

So.... My Point. And I Do Have One....

I can get caught up in the frustration my husband is going through who is working so hard and getting so tired...or I can love him and HEAR him and do what I can to help.... I can get caught up in my daughter's anger...or I can let it flow past me and be understanding and cheerful. I can listen to my angry negative friend and HEAR them and give them hugs and tell them I will do what I can.

I have those choices.

In other words.... "Today is like coffee. It is as good as I make it."

Make good coffee today my friends.


BG "Gentle Ben" Thomas

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Apr 04

You are a good listener, but a continual broken record is hard for anyone. Hang In there!!😁

Replying to

Thank you!


Every act of Love increases the amount of Love in the world.

Replying to

Agreed! And I aim to add as much love as possible to this world!


I find it interesting that your friend who points out "toxic positivity" doesn't see their own "toxic negativity".

Obviously not always the case, but sometimes people just need to vent and have someone hear them.

Also, The Grouchy Husbear sounds like a good name for a coffee shop. 😀

Replying to

I love all these comments! LOL!

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