Problem soup

The poem above, found here on Instagram, describes what many people are feeling.

Coping skills aren’t the answer to the current problems—at least not in the way that they’re sold.

Sure, mindfulness and meditation are useful (and on the aforementioned never-ending to-do list…) and they make a difference, but the problem is bigger than us.

We’re expected to Do It All (women more than men as a whole, especially hetero partnered women with children) 

and we’re doing it alone or close to alone (our villages were destroyed for Progress and Independence) 

and 99% of advertising is intentionally designed to make us feel less than (so we buy their stuff to fix ourselves)

and every realm of existence is important (physical health, mental health, relationships, kids, house, work, finances, etc.) but no one helps us sort out priorities or “this is important—and I’m doing it well enough to go on auto pilot, at least for now” 

and the system is broken while the individuals are blamed (sure, we need better self care but meditation doesn’t counteract insufficient wages or abysmal health care or racism/sexism/homo&transphobia/anti-Semitism and on and on).

You don’t need to be better at everything. Everyone who is Putting Stuff Out There as an expert is focused on one thing. You’re taking in all the things. 

Their job in selling to you is to make you believe you need what they’re selling (even if it’s just an idea and no money changes hands). And they very well may be right. But you can’t take in what they’re all selling. There’s not enough time. There’s not enough energy. 

You can’t even take in one expert per area. It’s too much.

Let all of them go for or a day or a week or a month. Just do things the way you do them and assess where you actually are. From there, you can choose one thing to work on, but just one.

I made a list once of things I’d like to do on a daily basis. Many of them took only five to ten minutes each, but it still ended up being two hours’ worth of stuff. Would I be in better shape physically and mentally if I did all those things every day? Probably. But also, that’s a lot of time, and I’m not willing to make that much time every day for this list of things. 

Pare down.

I’m sure the expert in any one of those things would tell me that their thing is the most important one and they might have a compelling reason why. But if they all can do that, then I need to just choose which is/are the most important to me, and go from there.

Regardless who thinks otherwise. Or who is disappointed. Or who is selling good stuff in other areas.

Without the internet and the self-help section of the bookstore, would you even know you’re not good enough? No? Maybe you’re fine as-is.

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