Sunday, February 21, 2010

FML - "Say WHAT!?"

       “FML”. I had to Google it. Maybe I am old, but I truly hope it is because I have had no need for the acronym. To those who must join me in the uninitiated corner of the room, “FML” is the antithesis of “LOL”. To the further uninitiated in all things emoticons and web vernacular here is the breakdown: “LOL – Laugh Out Loud” and “FML – F*** My Life”. Umm...Wow!

        Recently I have seen the use of this little tidbit at the end of posts from “friends” on social media. As I said – I had to Google it to find out it’s meaning so if it were to come up in everyday conversation, I would not seem as old as my kids think I am. I mean, there are parts of me that want to be “in-the-know” if not “hip”. Honestly I was saddened upon finding its meaning. I was saddened that people needed a new way to exclaim and project negative energy upon their perceived personal circumstances.

        Nowadays social media has proven to be more fun than aggravation for me. Currently, more people post on Facebook than vote, talk to people they would not pick up the phone to speak to, and keep in touch with loved ones from afar, as well as share whether or not they enjoyed their Vanilla latte. Can’t be much harm in that, right? (Debatable, I know.) What disturbed me though is that upon my search, I found a social media site dedicated to the FML brigade. It allowed for people to post a “status” per se, of a negative personal situation, why you stand behind your assumed “FML” label, and then allowed people to agree with you as well as to select “You deserved it!” Another “Wow”! I will not post a link and become a conduit for traffic to this place. Google it.

        Now I have, as many do, moments where things just do not go my way. In the past I have felt that God and/or the universe has a sense of humor and I was the punch line. I also realize the more I feel “cosmic victim”, the more I can find circumstances to substantiate this feeling based upon my chosen perspective. The key word here is “chosen”. What we focus on is what we see!

        I realize too that in the FML mindset, if I feel that I find contempt with my life, and that forces beyond myself are damning me to live a less-than-desired existence, why would I feel it helpful to personally add to the damning? I have been there and I get the pain. However I now realize upon reflection, whenever the metaphoric FML subway would open its doors to let me off, by clinging to this viewpoint, I would simply stand on the crowded coach, allowing the door to shut once again, and continue the ride. I was both conductor and passenger.

        Personal and emotional pains are valid. There are times when we encounter barriers. I have straddled so many hurdles I have split my pants. What I have come to realize is that “pain” is the incident that injures us, however “suffering” often is where we keep reminding ourselves we should still be hurting. The exclamations mentioned above that support the mindset of “because of this incident, my life sucks” or “because of that incident, FML” is counterproductive to getting beyond it. I will not judge my life by any one incident than I would judge a song by a singular note.

        You will not see the acronym adorn my site, nor infiltrate my vocabulary regardless of how my day is going. What is simply is, yet I can manage how I look at things. By labeling not only an event, but that my entire existence is in jeopardy from it, lends me to remain deeper and longer in that which I find overwhelming. Winston Churchill once said, “If you find yourself going through hell, keep going!” Although I may add another keystroke, I offer this alternative: “TTSP – This Too Shall Pass”!

*Note - This post also found on Artisan of the Human Spirit


kbxmas said...

And here I thought it stood for Family Medical Leave act. Shows what I know. I'm going to choose not to google that particular site and remain blissfully unaware.

angelguided said...

Another slant on 'What we focus on is what we see!' is 'We do not see things as they are, We see them as we are' Talmud. Very passionate post!

Marla said...

Wow! This makes me sad, too. I so agree with you ....TTSP

Katherine Jenkins said...

Tony- I completely agree with you my brother. It's TTSP for me all the way. And angelguided, I may just have to use the quote by Talmud as my status update! Very beautiful words!

Sai said...

Sad and hopeful at the same time! What a compassionate perspective you have. Love your TTSP mantra. :-)

Heather Conroy said...

You are right there's no hope in FML just a downward spiral. TTSP has both hope and the wisdom of the ages in 4 small words.

I love your interpretation of pain versus suffering.

Beth Chapman said...

Tony thanks for pointing out so eloquently how social phrases that 'catch on' can create unintended attitudes and complacency. We forget the power of language, even if abbreviated, upon ourselves and others. Thanks for this speed bump.