The Velveteen Rabbit story, was not perfect, it wasn’t laden with positive quotes, it wasn’t an admonition to live the SECRET or showing us the way of abundance through positive affirmations, but it pulled us in at a very deep level and engaged us because we could relate to the struggle… herein lies the message of this post.
While I was being interviewed recently, the interviewer began talking to her audience, she said, “I just want to remind all my viewers that I don’t believe that we should post anything negative on social media at all, I advocate that everything we post should be positive, and we should only be posting things that are uplifting, and our positive thoughts because we are small businesses and this is what people will see.” I noticed I was nodding my head ever so slightly in a reluctant “yes” gesture, (I could see myself in the camera because it was a Skype’d video interview), and as she was talking I had this inner dialogue going in my mind saying, “Why are you nodding your head? You don’t even agree with what she’s saying!” I mean, yes I agree if she’s talking about people sharing with us any kind of hate message or bullying, but…
I don’t 100% agree. I truly want to know more about people than just posting positive quotes from dead people. I mean I honestly think there’s a balance. When we post only the positive affirmations, sayings and reflections, we don’t give voice to the things that are less than rose posey, kittens and ribbons. We miss out on connecting through the juice of life. The everyday, regular, life.
Our feelings, our thoughts our deepest pondering. This is real life we are talking about. I don’t know about you but when I see someone only post super awesome-sauce about their fabulous life, two things happen.
- I don’t relate at all because my life is so weird, (I am a mother for heaven’s sake), and Polly Anna all-the-live-long-day bores the crap out of me.
- I know it’s not real, (you know it’s not real), nobody lives like that. Nobody.
I agree with my interviewer that positive is good. But real life, even the struggle is “good” to connect us more deeply. By-the-way, yes, I Tweet dead people. Yeah, I’m Twitter positive, Facebook positive, Instagram positive, and bloody Snapchat positive. However, where I part ways with my interviewer, is that I believe that we can sometimes do more harm than good when our posts are 100% picture perfect all the time. It’s just not real life. It’s not revealing.
My favorite people online… the ones I love to follow, I engage with most, and I’m willing to give them my email address and sign up for all their shit, are the flawed ones. The ones who make me giggle at the folly, the pit falls, the stumbles, and fall-flat-on-your-face adventure that this human experience holds for us sometimes.
Being human is a learning adventure, it’s messy, it’s complicated, it’s sticky, and I think we learn not only through encouragement (the positive), but support, (the honest, transparent, flawed side we all share).
How many parenting experts talk about how we damage our children by incessant praise and delivering unearned trophies for simply showing up to the soccer field? We don’t do our kids any favors by shielding them from the realities of the world. We also don’t do one another any favors by shielding each other from pain, suffering, and all manner of human expression. Since when is it “bad” to show people you have challenges? I actually don’t even see it as “good” or “bad.” To me it all just “is.” This “is” the gritty, gusto, goofy, Ooey Gooey stuff of life.
I don’t need another picture-perfect cardboard personality to connect to, do you? Give me your flaws, your laughter, your silly side, your camaraderie, your irreverence, your transparency, your sadness, your challenges, and your vulnerability to just “be” you and allow me to just “be” me.
That’s the beauty of real relationship. The gorgeous support and buoyancy of an authentic, genuine, transparent, human connection. We all embraced the Velveteen Rabbit while he was covered with stains. What made him real, makes us real. Love.