Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Abandoned by Optimism

Sometimes in life things happen that distract us from our lives. We're moving along a path. We're certain things are progressing like they're supposed to. We know there are some things that need addressing, but they don't stop life. We just deal with them or don't as the case may be. Then a truth is uttered. Then something happens to make us face something we've been avoiding. Then something is thrown at us changing everything. It stops us in our tracks. It shows us an alternative option we hadn't considered. It makes us question everything we thought we knew.

Sometimes we can talk to a friend and get a new perspective on things. Sometimes we have to just keep the whole thing to ourselves. Sometimes we can talk to a friend without revealing too much even if just to feel less alone. In the end, whether we can talk to others or not, the decision is one we must make on our own. Somtimes it's not even about making a decision. Sometimes it's about dealing with what the new information brings to the table.

When we are faced with things we cannot control, it can be difficult to accept that things will work out the way they are supposed to even if it takes a while. When life deals us hurts that don't make sense, it can be difficult to reconcile that pain with the idea that happiness still exists. When we're in the midst of dealing with one set of problems and another issue, seemingly unrelated, crops up, it can cause us to question the first set of problems. Yet, we don't live in a world that allows us to compartmentalize the parts of our lives. Everything affects everything.

And, so when life hurts and then deals us another blow, we may find it impossible to hold on to our optimism. In those moments, all we can do is breathe through the moments until we figure out how to see the path clearly again. Sometimes we have to embrace how we feel even if the feeling is foreign to us, and we'd rather not feel it. We may even feel like we're suffocating in that moment. Once we allow ourselves to feel it, we can begin to come out of it. The longer we fight the undesirable feeling, the harder it is to move through it. Once we embrace it without wallowing, okay it may feel like wallowing for a bit, we begin to see what we need to see. We begin to find our way through the haze of our issues. We begin to understand the lesson we need to learn. We face the guilt over the undesirable feelings. We face the possibilities and how the seemingly unrelated news affects the problems at hand. We face the fact that there's only so much we can control. The rest we have to trust will work out the way it's destined.

In that moment, our optimism finds a foothold in our lives again. While it may not be ready to take up residence, it is ready to visit again. And, sometimes that's the best we can hope for. But when we know optimism isn't lost forever, we can keep going through the moments when it feels as if it has abandoned us.

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