31 Days of Living Inside Out: Being Optimistic
I totally forgot to post yesterday. Well, I didn't entirely forget but by the time I remembered, I was just too tired to even think about writing. This posting everyday thing can be tricky. But there just wasn't time, and I'm okay with that.
Do you find yourself being positive or negative? Glass half full or glass half empty? Is your grass green or does it seem that everyone else's grass is greener? I'm not talking about being in denial of reality, because sometimes reality is not very positive, but how do you approach even the ugliest of situations? Can you be realistically optimistic? Can you "look at a situation honestly but then purpose to direct it towards the best possible outcome? I would rather shoot for extravagant hope, rather than play it safe and settle for the worst-case scenario" (Grace for the Contemplative parent). Hmmm...good question to ponder. Remember, it's not denying reality or lacking compassion for someone going through a hard time, or acknowledging your own hurt, pain or frustration, but it's realizing that there is a hope that goes past the situation.
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4:8
I have always tended to be an optimist. I love being positive. I want my children to be positive. I want those around me to feel like there is hope in their situation.
When my mom was in a hospital dying of cancer "with no hope" of recovery according to the doctor, I remember going in to the bathroom and saying "God, it's not too late, she can still make it, but if not, it's okay, you are still good and you still heal". Even my mom was positive the entire time she was lucid. My children, while they missed their grandma and wanted her back, understood the positive in the situation...she was no longer fighting this stupid disease that took her body.
Let's get a little "lighter". You're driving somewhere, anywhere, and you make a wrong turn, you're lost. What do you do? Do you freak out, panic, get uptight because now you're off schedule? Or do you relax, let "Lucille" recalculate and enjoy the ride? Remember when I said I watched the movie "Mom's Night Out"? In one scene, the daughter writes on the walls..the mom begins to repaint but then decides to "frame" 3 of the drawings her daughter made. To me, that's optimistic.
"My optimism is loud and wears heavy boots". Henry Rollins
One of my favorite songs lately is by a friend of ours and one line starts with "today, is my favorite day". Today can be your favorite day. Each day is new, with new hope, new opportunity. I know that sometimes it's not easy. Maybe you are working in a job that is tough, that you don't enjoy. Maybe you don't have a job and the bills are piling up and you don't know what to do. Maybe you have family that makes it hard to be optimistic. Maybe your kids are having a rough time. Maybe you are being wrongly accused of things. Maybe you can't see the silver lining. Be encouraged, be strengthened. Don't give up. Surround yourself with people who will help you be optimistic. I would rather be a voice of optimism than a negative Nancy. I'd rather think the best of people, than the worst. I always laugh when my husband can't be at a soccer game and I say one of our girls scored. He'll say "was it a good goal?" My answer is "of course, it was a goal...isn't any goal a good goal?" Nope, that's not what he means, but to me, that's how I see it, a goal is a goal.
What can you find positive in the negatives of your day? What can you do to be a little more optimistic? Maybe watch a funny movie, listen to some upbeat music, read, turn on some worship music (but not the downer worship music that sings from a place of "lack"...woe is me), have a phone conversation with a positive friend, look through pictures, count the many things you have to be thankful for. Take time for you!!
This isn't always easy for me...I get discouraged, frustrated, and if I'm not careful begin to think negatively, but the key is catching yourself and not letting it go further than it has.
With Joy UNquenchable,