Monday, September 21, 2015

Motivational Monday - Optimism, Look on the Bright Side

While working on the living estate sale of "Aunt Dorene" (not my aunt) this past week, I was thinking about how blessed she is.  She was able to live in this cute house for over 50 years, she has lovely things, she was able to surround herself with her own hand made needlework, she has a beautiful fenced in garden and a family that loves her.  I found peace and joy in the fact that I was helping her, by doing this sale.

I guess, I just think differently than others.  I was feeling happy for her.  I didn't focus on the fact that she was unable to live in her own home anymore, but that she has a blessed life.  All the things I was marking were a reflection of that. 

While working, I heard..."it's too bad a person's life comes down to this."  I was quick to correct this, by saying "Dorene is blessed - these items reflect that.  She lived in this cute house, surrounded by things she loved - we all should hope to be this lucky."    

This had me thinking, why is it I "can" find the positive in things while I know so many others that struggle?  It's not just "faith," because I know plenty of Christians who struggle with "finding the bright side."  Are we born optimists?

All species are born with the desire to strive, thrive and learn how to get along in their world.  So, I think everyone, all are born optimists - it's life, our experiences that make us pessimistic.

I know I keep saying this, but it really is a choice - you can choose to be positive or negative in any situation.  Optimism is something you need to teach yourself; a skill really, that can be learned.  Maybe it is easier for some than others, but I guarantee it is a choice.  One thing we all have the power to do - is choose things for ourselves.  

I found this quote:  "Optimism and positive thinking are not the same thing.  I like to think positive thinking as the talk and optimism as the walk." 

Think of optimism as a verb - it takes your action to work.  

I don't know how I learned to be optimistic - it seems that I didn't ever have to work on it, or did I and not know it?

Even when life handed me a hard punch, thankfully, I was able to move forward, by looking on the bright side.

Maybe you are reading this and thinking, she never had to face anything hard, or she would not be so optimistic.  Not true!  I've had plenty of trials in my life.  However, the one that was the hardest for me as a mother was cancer.  Our daughter, Anna, was diagnosed with bladder cancer at 11.  The year of surgeries, chemo and radiation was the hardest year of our lives.  It took a positive attitude - an optimistic outlook - to work with our FAITH - so we could make it through that year.

What did that experience do?  It built up our faith and taught us how to exercise our optimism.  Even if Anna had not survived, I know it would be harder for me to accept, had I not been optimistic.  

So, if you are facing a hard punch, a bitter attitude, walls caving down on you...stop...make a better choice.  Look on the bright side and exercise your optimism.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

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