Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Spreading Good News

I have to admit that I've been hesitant to post this. But it's been weighing on my mind for a while and I'm honestly not sure if this is just my experience or not. Why is the opposite of whining or complaining always bragging? What is so horrible about being blessed? About working hard and accomplishing? Why is there shame or embarassment about life being good? It's like we're feeling guilty about making someone who doesn't have those things feel worse about not having those things. But why don't they worry that they're negativism will bring down someone else's positivty about those things? Why is there a hesitancy to say that things are good? The other day on Facebook, someone posted about some thing where Dr. Oz says that Indianapolis is the most sexually satisfied city. I have no idea where that comes from or what kind of survey or research was done. But the question was asked- do you agree? And the immediate responses indicated some very dissatisfied women. *Ahem* I'm fortunate to be rather blessed in that area. And I had to think about whether or not I wanted to say something to that effect in this Facebook conversation. Have you ever been in a situation where the majority of the group is complaining about something and you don't have that complaint so you feel like you can't participate in the conversation? My life is good. My life is blessed. Jeff and I work hard to have the things we have and live the life we live. We have good jobs, good careers, good salaries, good benefits. We have great friends and family. We love our church. We love each other. I guess when people are in the negative line, they don't want someone to come along and try to bring sunshine to the storm? What about women who hate themselves, have low self esteem, hate their bodies? They don't want to hear from me about how I love the belly that held my babies, I love the muscles in my arms and legs, I love my arms that hold my husband, I love the legs that let me walk and run and jump. I love my nose and boobs and jiggly upper arms and the junk in my trunk. Are you someone who chooses to stay focused on what you don't have? Do you hate to hear from someone that seems to have what you want? Or are you someone who has goals and is working towards those goals? Are you someone who accepts what is and seeks to make the best of it? Here's the deal... I'm no braggart. I'm never trying to make anyone else feel "less than." But I'm not going to hold back on my blessings and good news and feelings! My life is good and I share our blessings in many ways and I see no reason to not be excited about where life has brought me. I came from a hard and dark place- too much chaos. Everything in my life is opposite of what my life has been in the past. I make good money. I have a great sense of security that I could stand on my own 2 feet because of my career. I've worked for this company, this department, for more than 10 years and struggled through some hard situations and I'm now very comfortable with my salary. My husband makes a good salary in a job he has worked at for more than 2 decades. I am amazed by him because he is completely self taught in his field and he is very smart and knowledgable and has a solid sense of loyalty and a strong work ethic. He and I both have great benefits working for great companies. I have a good marriage. Sure, we disagree or get crabby or have things we need to work out. But we love each other and trust each other and enjoy each other. There is no one else in the world that I would want to see at the end of each day and wake up next to each morning. We work hard to compromise, to be partners, to support and love each other. I love my body. It isn't perfect in the definition of the fashion world. I am a size 12-14, I weigh around 200-something pounds. And I am strong and I have muscles and I work hard for it. I have a round, flabby belly- and the entire reason I have it is because of those beautiful babies that grew inside of me. I love the face that looks back at me each morning. I'm healthy. I am working on eating right and exercising daily. I'm working on being stronger and faster and able to endure longer activities. Even in the years that I didn't treat my body well, my body took care of me and I'm very happy and relieved to not yet be facing heart problems or blood pressure problems or diabetes or thyroid problems or anything else I was tesetd for at my physical a few months ago. I have great friends (I posted about that yesterday so i won't go into details). I get along with and love my in-laws. I get along with and love my family. I'm friends with my mom and my brothers. I suppose I could spend my time finding things to complain about and be negative about. I suppose I could jump in on the bitch sessions about husbands who don't mow the grass or co-workers that gossip about me or about being stretched thin at the end of the pay period or about having a headache or my sinuses acting up. But why focus on a few negatives when there is so much positive in my life? And why should I ever feel ashamed that I have good news and blessings? Why would I ever hold that back? Especially when anyone can truly live their life this way. When I am overwhelmed by the negative slamming into me- not enough money after paying the bills, having to cancel vacation plans, stressful situation at work, friends being cruel, kids getting sick- I can either ride that negative wave and get totally sucked under the surf by all of the stress or I can: Stop. Breathe. Focus on Now. And realize that life is good. Even when I was living in a dark place, life still had blessings for me to appreciate. I just had to learn how to see them. Yes, tragedy happens and we have to struggle through it. I've been there, too. I've had life slap me around and beat me down and leave me broken. But I don't choose to stay broken. I choose to fight back- over and over again. And maybe, if we all take the time to share the beauty we see around us, to share the positive things going on in our lives, maybe we could inspire someone else to reach for the same thing in their own life. Maybe it will show someone that good is possible- that bad isn't the only choice in life. Maybe we should all focus on spreading Good News. Photobucket


Katie. said...

I think this post is so beautiful and it is really inspirational. I am always struggling with a negative point of view about myself, so this is a wonderful reminder to think about how good things really are. Thanks!

Unknown said...

Just as I think there is nothing wrong with venting or spilling your feelings on a post or FB or conversations, I don't think there is anything wrong at all with sharing the good news or feeling good about yourself, that's awesome! I think we all have issues or days and sometimes, that needs to come out. Being in a great, happy place in life is inspirational and should be shared!

Momza said...

This is great! Loved it all!
You have the attitude of gratitude!!

jensays (what would jen do) said...

very positive post. most people can only focus on the bad and forget all about the good things going on in their lives. i always say that i lead a good life even tho some things suck super hard. i still believe in all the great stuff i have going on.

C. Beth said...

Great post!!

I do tend to worry about doing too many "My life is GREAT" posts because I don't want others to feel bad. But life is GREAT! I'm glad yours is too. :)

Alison said...

Hey, y'know what? I AM one of those people who always focuses on what's wrong, what I don't have, what I need to fix... I think that might surprise you. Because when I go online, I try to stay positive. I need that balance in my life.

It's so incredibly easy to fall into a "complaint club" anywhere on the internet; frustration and anger serve as a false bond with those strangers out there. But after awhile, if you do have some self-esteem, it gets old. Really, really old. Maybe it's a sign of maturity, but I've made a conscious effort to disengage from negativity online.

As far as "bragging" vs. "celebrating," I think how it's received has to do with the context in which it's delivered and the state of mind of the reader. Without facial expressions and tone of voice, it can be easy to mistake "yippee, I'm so excited!" for "Lookit all I got, nanner nanner nanner." It's the risk we take communicating strictly in writing.

wv: thropia: Where Rosie goes to vomit? :-D

Shell said...

Inspiring post! I think some people think they will make others feel bad if they talk about the good in their lives. But, it can be done in a way that isn't bragging- but just sharing that you are happy in your life. I love to hear the positive. It gives me hope and makes me happy for others.

Barnmaven said...


There is no shame in working hard and being successful, no reason not to be happy and share your pleasure in your love and your children. Nothing at all wrong with loving your body and proclaiming it.

I know you write these things to help us, but I hope you realize what your incredible outlook on life is going to mean for your daughter. You are a wonderful role model for both of your kids. Teagan will want to be like you (yay) and Zach will want to marry someone like you (double yay!)

Anonymous said...

I feel this way about a lot of things. Why does my positive outlook have to be looked at as annoying? Why does saying I had a good day have to be bragging.

I hesitate to share a lot of things because I simply refuse to let someone else try to take that from me. It's a habit I am trying to break.

So what if my shiny happy people syndrome bugs them? I'm happy, and that is what is important for me!

I loved your reply, btw. I knew that you would reply that you had no complaints, and honestly I had hoped that more people would say they were satisfied. I think there was a good amount of sexually satisfied people that came forward, and I get what you are saying.

I say everyone is welcome to participate. Clearly I have too many sexually UNsatisfied friends in my life. :D

Unknown said...

All of those things is why I love reading you, Liz! Never change - you are nothing short of GOLDEN.

Unknown said...

I feel ya, Liz. I hate it that sharing good news is just me bragging about my awesome life. Um, HELLO. Have you spent a day in my shoes? My life isn't perfect, but it's mine and I choose to either be happy or be miserable. Here's what Martha Washington had to say and I think this might now be one of my favorite quotes!

"I am still determined to be sheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions and not upon our circumstances."

Yeah, you GO Martha and Liz...well said by both!

kbiermom said...

It's not the message, it's the medium.

Communicating via electronic media is tricky. It's personal, but impersonal. It's collective in a sense, but then again, not. It's one-way sometimes, and two-way sometimes. You know your audience, but you don't.

In other words, you can't possibly know how any given individual is going to feel upon reading what you shared. It's not as if you're sitting across the table from them, where you can modify how much or what to share based on how you're being received at any given moment.

For some topics, that matters. Others, not so much.

And usually, people are not going to go against the tide of conversation, whether it's flowing in a positive direction or negative. However, if everyone was seated around the same table, you'd notice who fell silent, and maybe draw them back in by tempering the enthusiasm or ranting a bit. Can't do that online.

Personally? I tend to favor those who display some sort of balance -- whole range of human experience is represented in some way, from joys to difficulties.

Anonymous said...

Hi there...came by from The Things I Can't Say Wednesday meme...I'm your newest follower.

I love this post. So very inspirational. I try to have a positive outlook on life. I don't look at the things that I don't have, but the things that I do have. I have faith in God and I live for today. I'm a strong advocate for looking at the positive...I firmly believe that positivity brings positivity and negativity brings negativity. From time to time, things get down for me, but I take some time to feel the hurt, however, by the next day, I'm brushing myself off.

I love your positivity...and I say 'way to go'. You are an amazing person to have around.

The Things We Find Inside

Heather said...

love this!!

And so needed it on a day in which I found myself going down the negative road!

Karen M. Peterson said...

Sharing our blessings is so important. It's good to express our gratitude for the things we have, and to recognize ourselves for the things we've accomplished.

I think there is sometimes a fine line between sharing and bragging, and it's all to do with our own attitudes. But as long as you know you're being grateful, who cares what everyone else thinks?

Karen M. Peterson said...

Sharing our blessings is so important. It's good to express our gratitude for the things we have, and to recognize ourselves for the things we've accomplished.

I think there is sometimes a fine line between sharing and bragging, and it's all to do with our own attitudes. But as long as you know you're being grateful, who cares what everyone else thinks?

Anne K. said...

Amen, amen and amen! I couldn't have said this better, Liz. Life is hard for all of us, but God gives so many abundant and amazing blessings to each and every one of us. Adopting an attitude of gratitude keeps me sane each day. :-D

Cyndy Bush said...

I've been told that when I say things like that, it's to cover up for my true miserable life! ROFL! I love my life and I do talk about that sometimes. I don't think it's bragging, just appreciating what I have! And I say good for you! =)

Garret said...

I feel like I'm shrouded in negativity with this crappy job. Oy.

Melisa Wells said...

I LOVE this post. You've got it goin' on, sister! I'm happy for you!

Mandi said...

LOVE! I love this post. after the inkling what what you've shared (since i started reading) about your past, you are such a great example of not letting your experiences drown you, but letting them lift you to become a better person. There are so many people that have taken the other route and use their abuse as an excuse to misbehave.

I also LOVE your explination of why you love your body. I 'hate' my stretch marks, but I really need to start looking at them for why they are there. and she is totally worth it. I could be completely purple and be OK with it if it meant I have Alexsa.

Mrs4444 said...

You make a great point. This subject reminds me of the middle schooler mentality--"If you want us to accept you, you must dress like us, talk like us, and like everything we do!" I always admire the middle schoolers who are secure enough to be true to themselves.

I'm very happy for you :)