“When the good starts arguing with the bad”

You better be lightening newsletter image

From this week’s newsletter. 

I saw a couple of things this week on Instagram which really struck me. I use Insta a lot and I know it and I love it but I also acknowledge Insta can be a miserable place — as can all social media platforms. They need to be used sparingly and judiciously, a bit like chocolate or alcohol. Otherwise you are going to overdose and ruin them for yourself. (And when I say “you are” what I really mean is “I am.”) Why do I especially *not want* to ruin social media for myself? Because very often I find little gems of joy on there.

Here are two recent favourites from two people I love following.

From poet @andreagibson: “One of the kindest gifts we can give the people who love us is our own self-forgiveness. And I know that’s counter-intuitive in a culture that teaches us that we could badger ourselves into better versions of ourselves. I just don’t think that’s how it works. […] Years ago I wrote: ‘When all the good in you starts arguing with all the bad in you about who you really are, never let the bad in you make the better case.’ I originally wrote that as a note to myself and it really helped. I hope it helps someone else today.”

I hope so too. Andrea’s latest poetry collection You Better Be Lightning is here.

And this from comedian @kevinjamesthornton: “If I’ve learned anything it’s this: Let yourself be free of trying to achieve anything. Free yourself from ambition and put your whole self behind behind feeling good, being content. Simple happiness. Put all of your energy there. I know it sounds cliché and Buddhist or whatever. But let me tell you, I spent my whole young adult life for 25 years reaching and struggling and trying so hard to achieve the dream… and I was so desperately unhappy. And the moment I let it go and just focused on feeling good, it shifted my energy. And people feel it. Things started to work easier.”

Love that. Obviously be ambitious if you must — but be ambitious for simplicity, rest, ease, peace of mind. You can get tickets for Kevin James Thornton’s UK shows in April here (also US tour):

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