It has to be said.

I’ve been resisting writing this blog post for many months now, but the time has come and it has forced itself out. What is wrong with the world when we think we have a right to dictate what sort of profile picture a person has on their social media accounts?

Someone my daughter knows had a rant about this back in January, claiming any of us that use the snapchat filters to enhance our photos in any way are misleading people. When she wrote that I sat and pondered it for a good while and the more I pondered it the more I wondered why she even cared.

Part of her argument was that woman were misleading men when it came to posting profile pictures of themselves on to dating sites. Yes, she has a point there. What is the point of posting a pic of yourself looking like a sensational hottie when in reality you look nothing like that?

That isn’t to say you are ugly. That isn’t my point, I’m sure you’re not. If we constantly mislead people into believing we look like a supermodel then we are lying not only to them but most importantly to ourselves.  I get what my daughter’s friend was trying to say in regards to dating site profile pics, but for those of us who upload filtered pics of ourselves on our social media sites, who are we really hurting?

I’m all for being myself, but I love using the filters from snapchat to enhance my pics, not because I am unhappy with how I look, but because I think it’s fun.  The majority of people on my Facebook have met me or at least seen a real life photo of me so they know what my true image looks like.  I don’t pretend that I am really the airbrushed portrait – besides, most of the pics I use have teddy bear ears or the like, clearly I do not have them!

There are plenty of real-life photos of me on my social media accounts that show my true self and I am happy enough with this. There are also plenty of photos of me with filtered extras, such as cute teddy bear ears, and I am happy enough with that too.

To accuse someone of being fake just because they have used a filtered photo of themselves is just silly. Plenty of people upload photos of their kids, pets, cars, flowers and so on and nobody accuses them of pretending to be any of that. So why do we get all het up over filtered pics?

Does this mean my daughter’s friend is unhappy with her own looks, or jealous of other women? I don’t think it does. I think she had been having this very discussion with her boyfriend and he had given his opinion and she had used it as an excuse to have a sly pop at some people she knew who were using filtered pics of themselves.

It’s a very similar argument to the whole women wearing make-up debate. Why does it even matter? It shouldn’t matter. Sure, there’ll be a handful of men piping up about make-up wearing women, but generally, it is other women picking fault with how a woman looks.

It shouldn’t matter how a person looks, what should matter is their conduct. The manner in which they treat people and act themselves is far more worthy of consideration, not whether they have make-up on or not. Or whether they use a regular photo of themselves or not on social media.

Some parts of society seem to care more about how a person looks than how they behave. Quite frankly if a two-headed man approached me at a party wanting a chinwag I would see no issue with him. If a regular looking guy approaches me at a party and acts like a complete jerk then he’s going to be sent packing.

Looks are superficial. Behaviour and conduct is everything. If you look like Brad Pitt but act like a jerk I wouldn’t want to have anything to do with you. Looking drop-dead gorgeous is meaningless if you are ugly on the inside.

 

 

Beltane.

Beltane is here once more. I love this festival the most, the feelings it evokes inside of me, the rituals, the abundance of flowers…..oh, and my birthday falls very near to this festival too adding an extra layer of sparkle to my celebrations.

What is Beltane?

Beltane is a fire festival. It marks the beginning of summer – although we are led to believe that the beginning of summer is actually around June 21st – 23rd, this is in fact midsummer. Way, way back in time we celebrated the beginning of summer at this time of year in the northern hemisphere. Cattle were driven out to the pastures by walking by the Beltane fire. The tribespeople also walked by or around the Beltane fire too as the flames, smoke, and ashes were believed to have protective qualities.

Maypoles are erected at this time too. The significance of maypoles has been lost through time, but many speculate that they are remnants of the old Gaelic may bushes or trees that became outlawed. Others speculate that the maypole is a phallic symbol and this seems to be quite a popular belief. Beltane is steeped in myth and lore and it is believed that this festival is dedicated to fertility rites.

There are so many myths and legends associated with any of the festivals so it is impossible to tell what is true. What I have found is that we can celebrate these festivals by looking at our surroundings, seeing what is going on in the natural world around us. Indeed, at this time of year life is springing forth all around us and it’s easy to see why our ancestors believed that this was a potent time to perform any kind of fertility rite.

I love the stories about courting couples who would go into the woods on Beltane Eve (April 30th) to bring in the may. Spending the night together in the woods sounds like a fabulous way to start your celebrations off, although the reality of that here up north makes me cold just thinking about it. But this sort of activity was an integral part of the Beltane celebrations with maidens going off to gather flowers to decorate the may tree and their homes. Their suitors would follow them out into the woods to woo them.

Whatever you believe, I hope you have a wonderful Beltane and that your life is filled with love and joy.

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What’s in a lie?

I was recently told that someone I consider a friend had been secretly lying about me. At first I was shocked, then angered, what did I ever do to warrant such bullshit? My first reaction was to confront the liar, but I stopped and thought about what would happen next. You see, I’ve been here before and it doesn’t go so well. More lies are spewed forth and then the secret conversations start.

Instead of giving this person short shrift I remained silent. I could have had it out with them. I could have told the people who were lied to about me that none of what was said was true, but my memory of the previous times this happened prevented me from doing this.

So what’s in a lie?

Well, in my case it’s the invented slights I’ve apparently done to this person. Most of what has been said borders on slanderous. The lies are spread to hurt my reputation. The lies are spread to gain favour with colleagues. The lies are spread to make me look bad and the other person my victim.

Lies ruin lives.

Right now I’m not going to do anything about this situation, I’ve seen the messages and they aren’t pretty! In fact they’re downright nasty and hurtful. What this person hopes to achieve ultimately isn’t clear, but at least I can now keep my eyes and ears open.

Thought for the day.

We all find occasion to reject and resist another person. We all like to put up a fight against anything we dislike on the evening news as we spectate the world. But we forget that when we decide we will resist something or somebody, either mentally or physically, we only empower the object of our resistance, either in reality or in our own minds.

If you want to enjoy the ability to influence, always start with acceptance. If you want to disarm another begin with acceptance. If you want to encourage and empower another to change, start with acceptance. Don’t make it conditional. Otherwise it’s just resistance disguised as acceptance, and you are still trying to control them.

You can view this thought online here:

https://www.thoughtfortoday.org.uk/unconditionally-accept/

Positivity Advent Calendar. Day 25.

I want to thank everyone who has read my blog over the last twenty five days. Trying to reduce stress in my life led me to many of the quotes I have shared with you over the last couple of weeks. Believing in yourself is a very powerful tool and it’s something we all should do.

From my hearth to yours, I wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas.