When people put quotes floating above sunsets up on Facebook, I used to lose my mind. It was a contributing factor in the closing of my account. If a quote makes your heart tender, email it to yourself. Don’t post it on social media. And Heaven help me if that quote had a cat on it. In real life, I know, maybe, three people with cats, and yet the internet is littered (see what I did there?) with cat pictures. One can only assume that the small fraction of people who own cats are the ones spreading these pictures. It’s simple math.
Let me give you some examples of these so-called inspirational quotes and why I loathe them so. Please, allow me to debunk:
“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.”
These are two opposing ideas. Dream big it says. Live short term as to never carry those dreams out in full. Let me tell you what I would do if I knew I was dying today…I would eat. A lot. With all of the people I have ever known. I would rent out a winery on a credit card I will obviously never pay (I would even open a credit card with someone else’s identity so my husband isn’t stuck with the bill), and I would invite everyone to dine with me under those little string bulb lights. We would gather around some rustic table decorated like those on Pinterest, and a personal chef would make huge portions of Chinese food with MSG because death is imminent and I don’t care if my fingers are swollen in my casket. I would drink expensive wine and eventually fall asleep under the stars. Of course, the next morning when I woke up, I would be very disappointed and also probably under investigation. Stupid quote.
“Dance like no one is watching.”
No. Someone is probably watching. Hello, drones. And I will lose friends and attract haters. Bye.
“Nothing worth having comes easy.”
Have you ever gotten a bonus bag of chips out of a vending machine? Free Doritos are always worth having. Or found a dollar in the parking lot? Or met a friend that you clicked with immediately? Those things are easy and worth having.
“God will never give you more than you can handle.”
I call bullsh**. When people say this out loud, Jesus rolls his eyes and then posts another cat quote online. “See if this cat in a birthday hat is more than you can handle,” He says as He posts it on His Pinterest page.
Please never say this to a woman who just lost a baby. Or to someone whose marriage is falling apart. Or to the single mother of two being evicted with nowhere to go. Those words are not inspirational. They are fiction. They do not motivate. They confuse.
Truth is, God sometimes does give us more than we can handle.
Grocery shopping with two kids: More than I can handle.
Working one day a week and trying to write a book: Believe it or not, more than I can handle.
Raising kids in an age where porn is so accessible: More than I can handle.
Remembering to put the pork roast in the crockpot: More than I can handle.
Not shrinking clothes: More than I can handle.
Ironing: More than I can handle.
Writing and putting myself out there for judgment: More than I can handle.
Living in community and being super vulnerable: More than I can handle.
Not eating the white cheddar Cheez-Its in my pantry: MORE THAN I CAN HANDLE.
That is the freaking point! If God didn’t give me more than I could handle, I would live my life completely void of Him. Why would I ever need to cry out? If I never needed help, if I was never brought to the end of my rope, when would I ever get down on my knees to pray?
So, let us step up our quote game. Let us be honest and truthful.
“Too many jarred jalapeños can ruin your chances at love.”
Let us be real with each other.
**Shout out to Charlie (see above pic) for looking like she just got home from a rave where she did too much catnip with her homies. Thanks also to Erin for raising a gangster cat. Too bad I’m “allergic.”**