“Turn your face toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.” Maori Proverb
It is Tuesday morning after a long weekend. For some the weekend was about work. For others it was about family and friends. It was about barbecues, parades and parties. It was about celebrating life.
Then there were those who struggled. Maybe they struggled because they were alone. Maybe they struggled because they lost their job. Maybe every day is a struggle for them. Maybe they just can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Which one is you? In either case, you may want to turn your alarm off and go back to bed. Most will get up and face the day while some will hide under the covers and avoid life. I remember those days. The days that I forced myself to get out of bed. The days that I sat and cried for no reason. The days of sadness. The days of trying to fake it till I could make it. That is what it was like living with adjustment disorder combined with depression.
Sounds pretty awful, right? Those days of highs and lows seemed to never end. All I wanted was to be normal, whatever that is, right?
I saw a small light occasionally which is what kept me believing. I had a choice – “Let life lead me, or lead my life.”
I realized that I was a fighter (deep down). I wanted to always look for the best in others. I wanted to fall down and get back up again — and again. I fought through the struggles of abortion, addiction, homelessness, debt and depression. I was fighting to be the optimist – staying positive when giving into the the negative would have been easier.
1. I stopped saying things like:
“It figures,” “Isn’t that just my luck,” “It would only happen to me,” and, “I just can’t catch a break.”
2. I stopped joining in other’s pity parties.
Empathy and compassion are important. I am learning to acknowledge feelings of negativity, but not dwell on them.
3. I thank my lucky stars.
This one is HUGE for me! When I start to get stressed and depressed, I stop and say “thank you.” To anything. Thank my house, for providing warmth and four walls. Thank my car, for continuing to start. Thank my job, because it keeps you clothed and fed. Thank my business, because it keeps me reaching for my dreams. Sounds crazy, right? But it does work. Gratitude goes a long way to chaining your attitude about life.
4. Make someone smile.
Buy a coffee for the person next in line, or buy a balloon and ask the cashier to deliver it anonymously to the next kid who gets in line.
Don’t have the money to do anything – email/text a friend with a message to have a nice day. Hold the door with a smile or compliment a fellow shopper on their outfit.
Living an optimistic life takes work and slip-ups will happen. Find the good in every person, in every situation. You have to fight for the light at the end of the tunnel.
If I weren’t a fighter, I wouldn’t be here today. I may not have always thought of myself as a fighter but I never gave up. It was and is about believing in the power of good, not bad. It’s about turning off the negativity and looking for the good in everything.
If you are struggling, reach out and let someone know. Help is just a hand (or call away). God placed this message on my heart this morning for someone. I hope it brought a smile to someone.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!