"There is no way to communicate the secret of life in 30 seconds, because there is not only one secret to life. One can easily fall into the trap of suggesting simple aphorisms solve all of life's complex problems. One obvious flaw in simple sayings is that many of them are countered by equally pithy sayings urging precisely the opposite course of action.
'Absence makes the heart grow fonder' is unlikely to comfort the distant love when he recalls the opposite 'Out of sight, out of mind'. The timid soul happily hears, 'look before you leap' but his equanimity is shattered when someone reminds him that 'he who hesitates is lost'. People often procrastinate and reassure themselves with 'don't cross that bridge until you come to it' but they must also remember that 'a stitch in time, saves nine'. Life is far too complex for these one-liners to serve as fail safe guides."
-Rabbi Daniel Lapin
To a few of my closest friends, with whom I have droned on and on about how I am equally enamored and exasperated with platitudes, I can heretofore almost guarantee that the problem in my head is now resolved thanks to the simple wisdom of Rabbi Lapin. It's always been much simpler than I had assumed. I was trying to fix it in the wrong place, it turns out, for it was a matter of the heart, not head.
My heart - in all it's three dimensional, multifaceted, lopsided, intertwined-with-the-soul voluptuousness - is nearly stopped when I see an explosion of Pinterest images of helveticanized wisdom on a photo of intergalatical glory or a sun-kissed boho chick (straw hat, twenty necklaces, and a mug of tea the size of her head). It might be the beauty and 'heck yes' of it all that nearly does me in. On those days, I've had enough sleep, the house is mostly clean, and I think I have a pretty good idea of how I am going to love on the world. I'm tuned in.
But on Mondays, Wednesdays, and every other Saturday, when the bank account has gone on a diet, when it feels most certainly hopeless that I have something useful to share, when I have been starved of sugar for, like, 6 whole hours...those are the moments when everyone of those pretty Pinterest platitudes seems so obviously false.
Like who is the internet trying to kid? (or what is it trying to sell?)
The truth is that opposing one-liners are both true. In this context, the true and the false are one in the same as they stand alone. It's in our own realities that they become one or the other. Our fear of choosing the wrong one is what throws a monkey wrench into it all, causing mass hysteria in our cells because sometimes we just want to be told what to do (even as we tantrum against it) while our intuition is pressing pressing pressing on our hearts. It seems to me that the job of any good life coach would be to not tell you which platitudes are a lie and which ones are true but rather listen to the ones that are true for you and help you reconsider if there is pain there. Better yet, cheer you on if the battle cry of liberation draws the breath from your very soul.
What if we're all walking platitudes - volumes each - fueled by our unique coding, the web of Allthatis running through the center of each of us. We are free to move and rise and fall and the web adjusts, never letting us loose into the void. In my coding is the mother who still feels the warm child on her hip and I am also the woman alone, wandering the desert. I am the terrified, fearless friend who will love you hard, no matter what, while also turning away from you in jealous fever. I am the source of music who doesn't remember the tune.
I widen my hips to hold it all while that dumb line that the internet dropped into my ear recently repeats: You be you, boo boo.