Being Positive With THEM
Thank you, Week 8 and Topic #2, Being Positive. This past month has been a tremendously powerful experience, where I have had practical opportunities to wrestle with challenging moments and come out with a better understanding of positive thinking in my daily routine. Not only was traffic, for roads I drive on each day, safer (the second time that has come up when my focus broadens to the greater community…hmmm), but my friends and family were safer to be around me, as a less negative, emotionally charged yo-yo…. and I liked me better…..which made me safer to be around, which made me less of a yo-yo, which meant I liked me better…..which made me safer to be around….
How did this incredible cycle come to be?
Over the last couple of weeks, I have explored the definitions and descriptions of being happy, healthy, hopeful and humble. Replacing the word ‘healthy‘ into the gauge I use to register whether something is positive for me, was vital. Chasing ‘happy‘, no longer draws me. I got nitty gritty in the mucky trenches of what true hope looks like in a torn apart life of hurt and desperation, only to realize my idea of hope is intensely raw and tough, but never completely faded, like scars marking my life experiences. Humility kicked up its heels, by allowing me to truly accept my faults, understand the imperfections in our family, and be OK despite it all. These are my discovered strategies to remain in a positive mindset amidst people and situations that are clearly not positive…..or are they?
Have my greatest sufferings in life, also brought my greatest blessings? Let’s take a look at a few examples:
Being ‘mis-married’ to a person who had an ill conception of loving others: Resulted in having a very thorough understanding of what love can be, and prepared me for the best relationship of my life!
Losing my mum at an early age: Allowed me to reflect on how to best spend the time remaining in my own life, enriching it with a flood of goodness, joy, ambition and dreams.
Wearing no makeup for 14 years, as per “captain ex’s” orders: My eyelids have less wrinkles acquired from the constant application and removal process, than a normal 46 year old lady’s might.
Dealing with my 2 troubled teenage boys: Gives me perspective and empathy to use as a lifeline to toss out to parents now, struggling with what their children are choosing and entering the dreaded “where did I go wrong as a parent” phase. Parents need to hear, it will be OK. I could not say it, if I did not know it. And I know it, because I have gone through it.
My sufferings have given me knowledge.
They have given me compassion.
Have given me strength.
Given me awareness.
The power to be better, know better, do better, see better, live better.
So what does Being Positive with THEM mean to me?
It means, I am not alone.
Just as I find comfort in the company of fellow companions, so too must I, be a comfort to those around me, contributing to the health of their environment and circumstance. If that presents itself as starting a ridiculous conversation with a stranger, after stepping on his toes, leaving riders in our crowded elevator laughing as they disembark, then my mission was accomplished.
It means, trouble is temporary.
Not only did my brain reset and adjust to overwhelming stimulus after traumatic events, but my heart reset with renewed energy and hope for a life full of promise and peace. If that means I do not get rattled by challenges like I used to, do not worry as much as I did, do not let my mind be overrun by fear of unknown disasters, then I believe, whatever odds are stacking up against me, against those I love, against anyone in pain, can be beat.
It means, I am not the judge.
Being a woman of faith…. raised on it, socialized around it, schooled through it, interested in it…. I feel a very big part of living positively is intertwined with how I see God. My spirit, soulfulness, religion, inner beliefs…its name not important….has conditioned me to remember, there is one greater than me, with more enduring love, more infinite strength, more cosmic understanding than I could ever hope to attain. Because of that, I can befriend a young, pregnant girl in need of support during a most vulnerable time, when she fears what people will think, accepting her frailty as my own, and bearing witness to her value as a treasured person.
It means, it is never ‘the end’.
Like one of my favorite cultural folk sayings goes, “Everything is OK in the end. If it is not OK, it is not the end”. It is so tricky to see past the hard stuff, through painful transformation, through constant pressure, that makes the ‘now’ uncomfortable, painful, miserable….breathing deeply into ugly bits we feel life has arm twisted us up against…..face planting into hurdle after hurdle….yet this is not the end of the story. What story would be interesting if the characters had nothing to fight against? Nothing to learn? Nothing to look forward to? I think actual humans are abundantly more fascinating than any character in a book, and therefore we have a glorious and gigantic climax waiting in the chapters of our lives. I see myself looking onward with anticipation to where an obstacle will lead to next…. for if the road seems blocked, I get to choose a different one.
I am sure there would be a lot more positive people in the world, if this kind of thinking became contagious….and when all else fails and nothing seems to bring me joy…. I dance and sing as though life depended on it!