I’ve been told that I’m “perky.” My nickname for awhile was “Sunshine.” I’ve been called bubbly, effervescent, positive, bright.
I’m okay with that. I do believe in optimism and in the healing power of positivity. Having the ability to look on the bright side has literally saved me.
I have days when my body feels heavy with despair. I spent my last birthday burrowed on the couch with a blanket over my head. I know the ache of regret, the stumbling fear of loss, the cruel mockery of shame, and the need to crawl on my knees for forgiveness.
What I know to be true for me is that if I start to slip, I can begin to slide. And from there, it’s a treacherous climb back up.
I don’t want to slide.
So I have learned to embrace the pain. I can face it and maybe even stroke its ugly cheek. But I cannot allow myself to wallow.
When I slide into the muck and wallow around, there is the real risk of becoming mired down. The heaviness may start to win.
And so I grasp for what I need to pull myself free. I am blessed to have a network of genuine partners and friends who I can call. I believe in the healing properties of therapy, and medication, and fresh air, and movement, and sleep, and writing it all out in a journal. I also have the ability to find gratitude.
Gratitude can start tiny, tiny, so small. I can be thankful for a pair of socks without holey toes.
And yet, gratitude is the foundation for optimism. It’s the bottom of the pyramid. Start there, maybe stay for awhile, and then look up. Along the way to the top you may encounter hope, peace, rest, vitality.
And those things can be genuine, and authentic, and true. Hope and optimism save lives; they’ve saved me. I am not ashamed to rely on my ability to find the good. I believe in the good, and I have seen glorious manifestations arise because of my nod to its existence.
I know that I am alive (perhaps as a perky ray of sunshine) because I’ve been able to hold on tight to the promise of higher thoughts.
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by Emily Nielsen
"I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition."
All posts are copyright ©Emily Nielsen