As a millennial female working in social media, I now cringe every time I see the term #blessed blast across my Newsfeed. “Great weather for my 10 mile run this morning. #Blessed.” “Feeling #blessed for these free Bulls tickets!” “Beach life. #Blessed!” Now I know we’re all guilty of the occasional social media humblebrag, but since when did a word with such good intention become so overused and borderline abused?
But I’m not here to call bullshit on other people’s brags blessings. I simply want to defend the ones we can’t blow up on our social feeds. The blessings that nobody “Likes” or “Shares” and that would likely make our “audiences” uncomfortable. “Just dumped the man I thought I’d marry! #blessed.” “Got the day off today because I got FIRED! #blessed.” Whether it’s a breakup, a breakdown, or a permanent “break” from a boss, it’s time to start acknowledging that these moments of temporary turmoil are likely long overdue and will later lead to something unexpectedly awesome. Consider them “blessings in disguise demise.”
We’ve all had them – the friend who’s dragging you down, the boss that’s holding you back, or the beyond repair relationship that’s not easy to end. But you don’t need a social media support group to get you through these life-altering instances of letting go. As always, all it takes is a change in perspective. For more often than not, that song from Garden State holds true – “there’s beauty in the breakdown.”
And furthermore, “blessings” don’t always appear as such at first. As author Steve Maraboli put it, “every time in life that I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.” Well Steve, I can’t help but agree. It’s a harsh, uncomfortable acknowledgment when you finally realize someone or something has overstayed their welcome in your life. Or worse, when someone else decides that about you. Why is it such a challenge to accept change? How tough can it be to cut ties? What good can come from a “demise?” A lot, if you let it. And articles like this, if you write it.
The reality is, letting go and being let go of, are two of the most incomprehensible, yet often essential, situations we can find ourselves in – exhausting, intimidating, but ultimately, liberating situations. You don’t know why it’s happening, where it will lead, or what to expect, but trusting that you’re better off is the first step to moving on.
Consider a slingshot – you must first pull back to propel yourself forward. The harder you pull, the further you’ll go. But before you use that slingshot, why don’t you give it your best shot? Because this isn’t about taking the easy way out.
Don’t just quit a job because your boss is a jerk, flee a friendship without first trying to fix it, or abandon anything without thinking it through and communicating your concerns. Relationships of any kind require reflection, reciprocation and sometimes, resuscitation. But after all is said and done, the situation should leave you feeling more #blessed than stressed. If that isn’t the case, take your cue to leave. You’re not a quitter, you’re a go-getter. It’s easy to stay, but it takes strength to walk away. (Or some other similar cliché.)
So don’t be afraid to start walking. Peacefully, poised, and without self-pity. It’s not as scary as it seems. Pretty soon you’ll reevaluate those lost relationships and consider them consequences of failure occasions worth celebrating, and not in any Facebook status or social post. But who cares? You’re your most important audience.
In that spirit, let’s lose the hashtag, reject the humblebrag and raise a toast to letting go: to saying goodbye to the things we can’t control, and to not settling, but seeking more. For only then will we find ourselves #blessed with the best.
Let go or be dragged. – Zen Proverb