Dear Chronic Selfie Poster,

Dear Chronic Selfie Poster,

You are beautiful. Yes, you are beautiful in your own unique way. Though, many of the other humans, animals, plant life and plethora of additional elements that fill our world are also fascinatingly beautiful.

I do love to be informed of the happenings of your life. We don’t see each other frequently, so the social media updates assure me that you are looking good and enjoying life. Though, I wonder if you might consider sharing evidence of the external aspects of that life in addition to, or possibly instead of, the typical selfie-post.

This is merely my opinion and carries little weight in the wide world of ideas. I simply wanted to share my viewpoint, that while the selfie-post is nice on occasion, you might tell a much richer story of your life, and elicit greater inspiration for creativity in your followers, by sharing pics of who and what you encounter on your journey, rather than posed reactions to your experiences.

Yours,

Billie     xxooxxoo

P.S. I’ve included my own selfie for your amusement 🙂 …enjoy!

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What does happiness look like to you?

Recently, a friend told me that during her last therapy session she was asked a question she could not answer. “What does happiness look like to you?” Considering the fact that this friend is well into her 30’s, you might think that she should have been able to figure out this seemingly simple life puzzle by now. But as she related how this question had stunned her into several seconds of silence, I realized that the answer was much more complex than it appears on the surface.

We are told what we SHOULD think happiness looks like by a constant barrage of messages thrown at us by all of the various forms of media out there – television, YouTube, digital news outlets, Facebook, Instagram – the list is never ending. If we pay attention to these messages, happiness looks polished and clean, well dressed and educated. Happiness has an entourage of friends and a committed, loving, attractive and equally happy partner. Happiness goes out drinking and dining, and travels quite often. Happiness is in wonderful physical shape and perfect health without much effort exerted on exercise or thought to the quality of food consumed. Happiness seems to have an endless supply of money with which to buy whatever one wants. And happiness is always happy, always good, always well – all the time. By these standards, I’m not sure how anyone can achieve happiness. I know I can’t. And the reason why I can’t achieve this vision of happiness is because it is constantly changing and inevitably unattainable.

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The idea my friend’s therapist was getting at was the hidden truth – hidden only because, in our culture, we have been indoctrinated with this elusive definition of happiness dictated by corporations. The hidden truth is that we decide our own vision of happiness. Regardless of what any other person thinks, I have the right, the responsibility, to dictate what happiness looks like to me. If I so chose, I can go along with society’s idea of happiness. But if I do that, I will never really be happy. Instead of happiness, I will exist in a constant state of chasing happiness.

Rather than an illusory image of happiness, I would like to chose an attainable, authentic and sustainable definition of happiness. So, what does happiness look like to me? I’m not entirely sure yet. But I know that it involves jogging outside at a leisurely pace, cooking yummy food while sipping wine and listening to Nina Simone, and offering a smile and ‘Hello’ to a passing stranger on the street. Hey! Does this mean I’m happy?!

The Daily Post: Witness

For The Daily Post One-Word Prompt: Witness

I am witness to words and behaviors, secrets and privileged information, the dirty one side keeps hidden and the conspiracy the other side must maintain. I see people as they are human. I am witness to both the lies and the truths. I see people as they are not color. And I am witness because the seeds of both colors were birthed in me. To know what it is to be both and not be received as either compels me to a higher plane of identity. And I transcend skin color because I am witness.

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Chicago, circa 1985