As a spoonie & collector of quotations, I’ve found so many that inspire me; from the directly health-related like Buddha’s “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly,” to my oft-quoted “If you’re going through hell, keep going,” from Winston Churchill. We spoonies often deal with some pretty Hellish circumstances so we’ve learned (or are still learning ) that, for us, fighting back tends to make things worse. Anyone in their own Hell must make a choice; run away or stay, push forward or go backward, change latitude or attitude, continue alone or return home, change direction or avoid detection, whatever it takes just to get out or doesn’t take to give in. When your options are further limited by health, the way out — the only way to go for me — is through; “keep going.”
WEGO Health prompted my consideration of the quotational that’s inspirational as part of their Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge (#HAWMC). With a writing prompt for each day of April, WEGO’s first challenge was imagining a Health Time Capsule & this next one suggests sharing a quote that inspires me (either positively or negatively) by free-writing about it. I hadn’t really used this writing exercise since being online, despite encouraging other writers in my life to free write, so was pleasantly surprised to end up with over 400 words in just 15 minutes. Here they are — with typos corrected, punctuation & links added along with some words that seemed needed for clarity [which are in square brackets like these |_|)]:
How can one be inspired negatively? It’s obviously being pushed in the other direction [a negative one, since inspiration is typically considered positive |_|)] but isn’t that “discouraged?” When a phrase is discouraging, the only real inspiration happening [personally |_|)] is that I’m inspired to call a quotation’s bluff. How can an inanimate piece of info be bluffing? It’s about the intent & — just like swearing — it’s how something’s said, why & when it’s said as well as how the person quoting (or misquoting ) means it. Since there are so many factors, it’s surprising that so many words thus phrases & eventually oft-cited quotations (as they become more & more common) end up having a crowd-sourced meaning, & said meaning depends on the crowd one spends time with. Many religious people [for example |_|)] see individual swear words as negative while the generation [usually considered ‘Generation Y’ |_|)] just now getting out into the world & standing on their own with all that entails, including far fewer restrictions, use swear words as adjectives. Since a word that evokes a reaction simply by being said immediately adds meaning to any discourse, how can those of us willing to cuss not use them? Here we are, back at meaning again tho'; for example, saying “fuck” vs “fuck off” [with only the latter having a negative connotation regardless of one’s take on swearing |_|)] then there’s “no pain, no gain” for a spoonie [as living with chronic pain changes an otherwise encouraging concept |_|)] which leads to well-known favorites like “c’est la vie.” One such phrase I’ve taken to quoting, expressing that something’s already done or can’t be changed, maybe even referencing a difference of opinion — What is this versatile quotation? — It is what it is. Now, before this turns into a “Who’s on first” routine, it really “is what it is.” No, wait, it’s actually “it is what it is” & I came across an article sometime ago that listed [it as one of |_|)] “7 Popular Negative Phrases.” First of all, context people, context. That’s as important to words as ‘location, location, location’ is to real estate. However, parsing the phrase’s most basic meaning shows that it’s saying exactly what anyone should take from it: that something exists & therefore is; or that the state of something has changed (or been made clear) so is now known, thus acknowledged as being. There are also the times when an opinion is expressed &, whatever the reaction or sentiment aside from that opinion, it too “is what it is” & may or may not change but, regardless of the future direction or hope for change, it just is what it currently is — [at least |_|)] for the time-being.
When I read the article declaring those seven popular phrases negative, this was my reaction:
As valid as most of this list is, it not only criticizes “Que Sera, Sera” which always cheers me up but the put-down of the 1st phrase was clearly written by someone without any experience with chronic illness or other disability (I hope they appreciate their luck. ~_^). “It is what it is” is not a reaction but an acceptance &, when you live with issues that cannot be readily changed, acceptance is actually the key to staying positive!
/rant from one #spoonie who admittedly says both a lot ~_~
A fellow spoonie added, “i pretty much agree with the list except for ‘I can’t.’ if ur BODY can’t, then U can’t. #spoonies know this.”