I am essentially optimistic, a fundamentally happy person. Both statements are true. I am, however, not a bliss ninny. As I’ve said so often, accepting reality doesn’t necessarily mean liking it. As a relatively well-balanced person, I don’t pretend that I don’t feel sadness, frustration, fatigue. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that optimism and fundamental happiness cannot exist in a fantasy world, and it is only in fantasy that sadness, fatigue and frustration are absent. What keeps me optimistic and able to return to my baseline happiness is that I know the darkness is not the last word.
At the beginning of this year, I wrote:
It’s all about choice. Without choice, I feel helpless and depressed. With choice, I can decide not to concentrate on the ripples that disturb the water’s surface but instead turn my attention to the underlying serenity of the deep. I can choose to lean on the Rock from whom I draw strength. I can mourn my late friend and grieve over what was and what might have been while still living well. I can be sad without sadness taking over my life.
I can also choose to spend time looking at the ripples and being upset at the disturbed surface of the pond. It’s okay if I want to do that now, because I have remembered that it’s my choice.
And whatever I choose, it takes nothing away from the hard-won fundamental happiness of my being. It will still be there, whenever I choose to draw on it.
That basic belief, a knowledge at the bedrock of my awareness, keeps me going on days like today. Today I am feeling very frustrated by my poor health. I am having some worrisome symptoms that keep me from working. I am having some pain. It’s not a good day, but for some reason I feel better in myself – emotionally lighter – today than I have for the last few days. I think it may be because I can look at the negatives and know that they will not last forever.
I lifted this off a friend’s Facebook page:
Right. That about sums it up.