• Diana McLaren

The art of giving a f**k!

I assume I am not the only one who has been inundated over the last year, or possibly even longer, with this wonderful new policy of 'not giving a fuck'. It comes in many forms; not giving a fuck as a practice, as a way to inner peace and even in cartoon and comical form. In essence not caring has been identified as one of the factors that will lead to happiness, rebellion status and just overall coolness.

But as I read these articles telling me not to care what I realise more and more is that they are in fact telling me is not to care about the things that made these authors unhappy; other people's expectations, career progression, how clean or unclean their homes were. Everyone's list is different and many of them are contradictory.

I spotted a trend, not just in there intention of sharing what freed them from the daily anxiety many of us experience. But also in the fact that the goal is not non-attachment but rather selective-attachment.

Truly not giving a fuck would be a very empty and anxious place. Without any attachment whatsoever there would be nothing to create meaning in our day to day. It would be bleak. Thus I imagine that these people who apparently achieved a certain amount of enlightenment and peace are in fact NOT 'not giving a fuck'. And for those that struggle with double negatives what I'm saying is they still 'give a fuck'.

So instead of the art of not giving a fuck, let's discuss the art of giving fucks.

It is innately human to care. In fact our empathy is one of the great powers of human beings. Attachments are a natural evolutionary need. You will give fucks. Many fucks. In fact I would like to suggest that you give more fucks then anyone.

At the base of every reaction we have is an assumption or a story that tells us that we care, whether positive or negative, we are somehow invested. And this is a great thing. This is passion and passion is powerful. However it is time to give these fucks about things you care about as a person and not on what has randomly been assigned to you.

And this is where the art form comes to life. Figuring out what you want to care about rather then just mindlessly 'giving fucks' about things you aren't really invested in.

"Stress is the alarm clock in our life to let us know we have attached to something not true for you." - Byron Katie

Stress is definetly a good indicator. A sickly feeling in the pit of your stomach is another one. Feeling like you have to force yourself to care is again a perfect indicator. But finding you own indicators is going to be a part of the plan. You will need to reflect in whatever way you reflect on how you know when something doesn't serve you.

When you are attached to something that isn't true for you and is making you unhappy it is time to 'not give a fuck' about that thing. This will free up that energy for part two.

Detaching yourself from the fucks that aren't working for you is only half of the problem. Then it's about spending time figuring out what you do want to give a fuck about. Are you passionate about the environment? Do you enjoy the praise of others and want to spend time caring about what people think of your outfit?

No 'fuck' that you give is inherently good or bad. What is good or bad is the way it makes you feel and whether or not it serves you. Hint: if you don't feel good about it, it's probably not serving you.

So when you next read '10 things to stop giving a fuck about' don't just take there list at face value. Those are merely the fucks that were weighing that author down. They just might be the fucks that are lifting you up.

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