It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?
Last winter, in the middle of a bout of spiritual and professional paralysis, I cried on the shoulders of my Girlfriends.
My friend Karen asked, “What lights your fire?” What rocks my world? What gets me out of bed in the morning and what makes me light up inside when I think about it?
After rambling for several paragraphs, I found it.
Choosing to live a a Positive life, and encouraging others to do the same.
Ironic, isn’t it, how in the middle of a cast-iron funk I could find what mattered most?
I spent a lot of time hurting, being angry, being sad, feeling useless. Normally a pretty outgoing person, I hid a lot, avoided going places and doing things that I normally loved. Depression? Maybe. But slowly the sun came up and I realized it was time wasted. And I knew from life experience that we cannot add seconds back to the clock.
Bad things happen. Mistakes happen. You hit a slump. You have Epic Fails that wind up on YouTube. But the pages turn, and the wounds heal, and you get a Do Over.
What inspires this belief and what do I do to live it?
I’m not sure what inspires it, honestly. It may be Spirit. It may be faith. It may be interacting with people who have overcome challenges greater than any I’ve faced and who still wake up smiling every day. Or maybe it’s a smoothie of all these things. All I know is that I like who I am better when I choose to an optimist rather than a pessimist. It takes too much energy to hang onto anger. Holding grudges gives the person who wronged you too much control over your life – even after they’re long gone.
I read something recently along the lines of “we attract what we are.” There must be something to that, because I seem to be surrounded by a lot of people full of gratitude and joy for living, even in the midst of physical and emotional challenges. And the cycle perpetuates. I feel the deep-down joy of the people around me and then, even when I’m running on impulse power, I can still smile, spare a random hug, and level up.
Not everyone around me lives this way. There’s nothing more difficult that watching someone you care about focusing on what’s wrong instead of what’s right, or letting circumstances they can’t control anyway control their happiness. Yet it’s hard for me to pass judgment – because I’ve been there too. And I’m not immune to negativity – see above “cast-iron funk” for reference. I also know that even when I had very supportive people around me, I had to be willing to receive the support to make it work for me.
What do I do to Live Positive? Well, Dr. Brené Brown wrote a book called The Gifts of Imperfection and she calls living positively “Wholehearted Living.” I felt validated after reading that. Up to that point, I’d sometimes felt like there was something “wrong” with me for wanting to be positive. Once I felt “allowed” to live Wholeheartedly and realized there were actually a lot of people out there who lived the same way, I decided I wanted to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. There are plenty of web sites and blogs and forums where resentment and animosity and hatred are the rule.
Not on my watch and not in this place.
“I Face the Sun” is about living a positive life. I can’t really make it a “how to” blog, because different things make different people happy. But I will write about stuff that makes me smile, lessons I’ve learned, and things that just make me think, “Huh. Whaddya know? That’s pretty cool!”
I endeavor to shine lights in dark places. I’m actively involved in a healing service at my church, I teach, and see my life-job as being a source of encouragement for others. I don’t know if I’ll ever get my own books and stories written, but as a freelance editor and writer, I do my best to encourage other people with stories to tell.
“So of cheerfulness, or a good temper, the more it is spent, the more of it remains.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
- One Strong Belief #trust30 (caelanhuntress.com)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson: Self Reliance Prompt #3 (miriamgomberg.wordpress.com)
- One strong belief on my own – #Trust30 (otir.wordpress.com)