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 spirit” because 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.