Thursday, May 30, 2013

Seeing Beyond - Inspiration Thursday

When we were in Minnesota one of Matt's cousins commented on my positivity.  This makes me happy, I must say, as I have no objection to being thought of in this way.  Basically she was really cold and said she had goosebumps and I said something like "At least you're not shivering!"  And she said that was one of the things she remembered most about me--that I was always looking for the positive.
"Find a place inside you where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain."
 I suppose this is true.  Its been mentioned to me before.  Being upbeat is just the way I choose to lead my life.  I don't always succeed, but I do pretty darn well.  And I think that this is critical in the joy I feel inside.
"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls."
Perhaps its because it has been much worse at points in my life that I feel such gratitude for all I have now--that makes me look for the upside of any situation and the tiny wonders all around me.  Perhaps it just my belief in the general goodness of the universe.  I don't know.  All I do know is that dwelling on all the problems and negatives in a situation rarely gets a person anywhere.
"Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.  We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy."
All quotes by 
Joseph Campbell, American scholar, philosopher, mystic, lecturer and author.
That is not to say I am a rosy-eyed, naive, Pollyanna optimist.  I see problems and legitimate concerns same as everyone else, but I also have learned to see past them at all the blessings that still remain.  Just because something isn't perfect doesn't mean it has no beauty to offer.  Just because things don't go as planned doesn't mean all is lost.  Just because you have pain doesn't mean life can bring you no joy.

To see the challenges to be faced, yet still see beyond them to the gifts of this beautiful universe that remain despite any challenge.  I think that is the fundamental difference.  I think that is what allows me to have such joy and contentment in life.

4 comments:

  1. Your words are so wise and beautiful. I admit I'm a bit of a pessimist (stemming, I think, from my struggle with perfectionism) but your outlook is truly what I aspire to be. Thanks for sharing this!
    -Jaime

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    1. Thanks, Jamie! You've never come across as a pessimist to me! But, oh that inner battle with perfection, right?! Like I said, I don't always succeed, but the more I do it the more it has become just the way my brain works. Much to my delight! Have a great day!

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  2. When a person regularly plays down the problem, large or small, of another person, it seems cold to me. It is like the problem is not acknowledged at all. So, if the person does not acknowledge the problem, the person does not have to commiserate or help to find a solution. It is almost like the "positive" person is saying, "Shut up, quit complaining. I don't want to deal with it."

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    1. How unfortunate to see positivity as something “cold” and negative, but it takes all kinds in this world and you are certainly entitled to your opinion. I don’t know you and your situation.

      I am not worried about being perceived as such however. I know that I offer support and kindness to those around me and that includes my positivity. The cold cousin in question had a good coat on and was wrapped up in a quilt. We’d given her all we could to warm her and when that wasn’t enough I also offered a bright side, too—that at least she wasn’t cold enough for shivering. I fail to see how that is “cold.” I wonder what you’d have had me do.

      And for bigger problems in life I do the same. I bring meals to sick people in my community. I listen to friends vent their frustrations at work and at home. I console friends during deaths and medical malaise. I agree with them that these problems/situations are crumby and unfair. I baby-sit, cook, talk, listen, whatever I can to help. But I also offer a bright side whenever I can, too.

      I can't see that it is “playing down” anything nor telling them to “shut up.” It’s offering a particle of joy or hope to hold on to in the midst of the storm that we all know well and good enough is around us. I think that is the right thing to do. That’s me. I’ve personally been in situations where that has made all the difference.

      It takes all kinds in this world, but I will take a friend who points out the remaining good over one who can only agree with the bad any day of the week.

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Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. I value the advice and friendship that you share with me!