I Got A New Attitude

The last couple of days have made me think a lot about pessimism versus optimism.  I see that I have made great strides toward positive thinking, but I still have some work to do.  I came across this quote today and it helped me put this work into perspective.

No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit. – Helen Keller

This reminds me that there is a bigger reason to keep battling against my tendency toward negative and fearful thinking.  Positive, optimistic thinking keeps my spirit open to possibilities.  It keeps me on the lookout for blessings.  It helps me to see grace in the world.  Going through life with my pessimistic attitude was like wearing dark glasses that kept me from seeing light and beauty.  Little by little, I am learning to take those dark glasses off and open my eyes to all the wonders in the world.

John always used to tell me that most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.  I would feel angry and recounted to him all the bad things around us and all the legitimate reasons to be dissatisfied.  I was seeing the negative and talking about the negative and it left me feeling sad and closed and trapped and hopeless.  Then, after my vision began to deteriorate, a miracle happened in my heart and my attitude began to change from negative to positive.  I began to see grace working all around me.  I became aware of wonderful people doing great work in the world.  I felt happier and happier as I focused more and more on the good I was seeing.

Helen Keller was right.  When I was a pessimist, I could not imagine possibilities.  I could never have “discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spiritbecause I was dwelling on the negative.  Now, I have a feeling that nothing is impossible.  I often feel as if I am on the verge of making a wonderful discovery or like I am just about to step into a new adventure.  I am loving this new attitude, this new outlook, this new way of seeing the world. 

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11 thoughts on “I Got A New Attitude

  1. Belinda,
    I like to use metaphors in my writing and homily’s, so bear with the following comments and the deeper meanings.

    Before my religous experience in 2000, I used to tell folks that I was the best non-practicing Catholic. Before I went into Formation in 2005, I used to tell folks I was a recovering Catholic.

    Each morning when I wake up, I thank God for one more day. I look forward to the next 16 hours unfolding. What am I going to be faced with? Am I up for the challenge?

    In my Dec 26 homily, I said that Jesus, Mary and Joseph were God’s chosen family on earth ; Although they were the most holiest family that ever will live on earth, they had more than their share of this world’s troubles and cares.. If the Holiest family that will ever live could get through their trials and tribulations, then how can I complain? The Holy family serves as a model and source of encouragement for the lowliest, the poorest, and the most persecuted of all those who would ever be his followers.

    I attempted to journal before Formation, and found that I couldn’t put pen to paper. After the first spirtuality class, I couldn’t stop writing. My nightly writing begins with the following question: “Where did I see God today?”

    Even in those moments when the day may not have gone as I expected, careful reflection on the question gives me an insight that may not have been apparent at that particular moment.

    I agree with John. We can either let circumstances control our emotions, or we can say how can I make this better. We are limited only by our own self-doubt.

    Of course, being an extrovert doesn’t hurt either.

    Thanks for a wonderful post today.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I have to give credit to John’s quote – it is from Abraham Lincoln. Like you, I do like to reflect on where I saw God each day. Thanks again for your comment. Peace.

  2. B- I just wrote comments about wintessing before reading this post, so, I heard your words today from that perspective. See if this resonates with you, or not:
    “Pessimist” and “Optimist” are both labels you give yourself. Labeling is a sign of self-judgement, which is the opposite of compassionate self-witnessing. I’m curious what it would be like for you to just notice thoughts, rather than categorize and use them to label yourself? Like, “Right now, I feel discouraged. I don’t think things are going to work out.” Or, “Right now, I feel open to possibility.” Instead of locking yourself in, you release yourself to the natural expansion and contraction of human experience, thought and feeling. It’s easier to allow thoughts come and go when we don’t attach too much meaning to them.

    • mmm…I will try. It’s automatic for me to label everything – and, I suppose, to judge everything. I see that there is value in what you are suggesting, but I am not sure how to accomplish it, other than to practice. Thank you.

  3. Such amazing blogs! Belinda you are such a clever person so deep seated and caring. Please I also want to know what is a blogroll and I can’t get the link? Have a Gr8 day. Thelma

    • Hi Thelma. A blogroll is just a list of blogs that I link to on my own blog. You can see mine in the right hand column of each page. For a WordPress blog, you click on “Links” on your dashboard and then insert the link to any blog. You can always get more details from WordPress “Support.”

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