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"Life is only 1% of what happens to you, but 99% what you make of it."
I first heard that from my dad when I was just a little thing, but I have never forgotten it. I've been accused of being a constant optimist. Of being too naive to realize that there are so many bad things happening in this worlds, and of being blind to the severity of an issue in my life. None of the above are true! Right now, my life is peachy. I have a wonderful family, we aren't destitute, and things just generally seem pretty good. But there have been many times in my life where I wanted to just roll over and die. Times when no one would have blamed me for climbing up a mountain and shouting "I GIVE UP!!!!" A few days ago after a phone conversation with an incredibly negative person, I started thinking about why I am a generally happy person, regardless of my situation. I'm no expert, but I believe I have a few reasons as to why, and thought I'd share them with you.
The first, and most obvious reason I believe I can maintain a positive attitude is because of my faith in an Almighty God. I believe firmly that He alone is in control of my life, and that He loves me (all of us for that matter) deeply. He does not want to see us hurting, but sometimes allows situations to happen. Why? So we can learn a lesson. As parents, we don't want to see our children hurting. We don't like to have to chastise them, but we do. That is our job, to teach them. But we always remind them of how much we love them. God is the same! He never makes us walk through a season of life alone. He does teach us lessons, and many times, that lesson is about depending on and trusting in Him.
My first marriage was one of the worst times of my life. My husband at the time had been having affairs. I was pregnant. I felt more alone and betrayed than I ever had in my life. There were many other things going on, but I'm not screen writing for a soap opera, so I won't go into that. I can say, without any hesitation, that knowing God was by my side was the only thing that kept me going. The fact that I was a mom didn't even stop me from thinking some of the thoughts I had then. I know, that the only reason I am here today is because all I had was faith. Literally...I had nothing else!
I've never really been into the whole "positive thinking equals positive result" mumbo jumbo. However, this is one time when I believe it has a place. I don't care who you are, or what you are going through, there is something positive. It might be something silly, or even the tiniest glimmer of hope, but it is there. Anne Frank experienced some of the most horrifying experiences, that most of us will never be able to understand. She had every right to mope, whine and complain about it, too, and no one would have judged her. But she didn't! She kept her eyes fixed on the few joys in her life. Dwelling on defeat will only bring you further into the pit. Find something about the situation that is positive, whatever it is! The only thing that brought me joy during me divorce was knowing I wouldn't have to put up with crap like that anymore. That made me smile.
Every bad situation I have ever been through has led me to something better than I could have imagined. None of us know what the future holds, or the paths we will take. Something better is in store for us! After my divorce, I ended up moving in with my parents and sister. My mom, dad, sister, my daughter and myself in a two-bedroom apartment. That was rough, folks! But looking back, it was all apart of the grand plan God had for my life. I ended up becoming friends with my parents' neighbor, and a few years later, ended up marrying him. Had I not walked that path, I never would have met my husband and best friend. I wouldn't have a little boy (which, some days, doesn't seem like such a bad idea!). Often times, the destination outweighs the struggles on the path we are taking.
I'm a much, much stronger person than I was 10 years ago, and it is most definitely because of the things I have faced in my life. I've learned I'm stronger than I thought I was. I learned what I will and won't put up with from people. Take a step back from your situation and ask yourself what you can learn!
I don't care who you are...if you surround yourself with negativism, you will be negative. I know two different women, who are the most negative, hateful and bitter people I have ever met. I always joke that they can find something wrong with a rainbow and sunshine. Sadly, its not that much of a joke. If I call to share good news with them, they point out everything that might go wrong with it, and even go as far to insist that it will go wrong. I've found that when I spend any length of time with them, I begin to think and sounds just like them. My husband can tell when I've been hanging out or talking with them just by the change in my attitude. Its a plague...avoid it!
Remember that no one in this life is exempt from experiencing some type of painful experience in this life. As bad as you think it is, it could always be worse. Someone, somewhere would gladly swap lives with you if they could, and you might quickly learn your life isn't as bad as it could be.
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