Are you a glass half full type of person? I am. I think I live a charmed life. I can honestly say that I whole heartedly, sincerely, genuinely appreciate each day, regardless of what happens within it. And I think of my life as filled with loving friends, family, community, support – everything I want.
But is it the whole story? Of course not. The fact is, for as many giddy moments I feel, someone could most likely dredge up something negative. And the fact is, for as many people positive thinking draws in, I will reluctantly concede to the possibility there may be at least a few people with doubt, resentment and hey – even dislike.
What benefit is there in focusing on that, though? Nothing changes externally regardless of how I am thinking. I am wholly myself, living my life. Making mistakes as I go and having success along the way, too. Consciously choosing to question the mistakes and learn from them, reinforcing a brighter outlook along the way.
And yet – everything does change, at the same time. By focusing on what is there in the glass half full, I am able to conceive bright possibility and potential. This attitude in itself sets the stage for a positive next turn, rather than expecting a disappointment and being blind to the good when it is in front of me.
If I was anticipating failure, the small victories would be more likely to pass by unnoticed. Life is a web of those mini-wins, cumulated. The huge triumphs just don’t happen every day and yet sometimes it seems that it is those that are only supposed to count.
Instead, I like to count all the small gifts in each and every day, and resolutely prove the existence that life is so very good. It is so good that I am excited to wake up tomorrow and see what surprises are awaiting me. I know they will be fabulous!
Perception changes depending on our filters of how we hear information, when we hear it, the state of mind we’re in, how physically and emotionally resilient we are, what we are in the midst of doing, etc.
One of my dear friends said to me not long ago “if I didn’t love you so much, I’d hate you” and it warmed me to the heart then and continues to. In that one, sincere, humorous phrase, she not only expressed her affection, but also how truly she is able to see both herself and me clearly – and accept and love us both. That is the gift of true friendship as well as a reminder of how to experience love and joy in the midst of experiencing other emotions. No pretend stuff. Just real life. And loving and living in the midst of it all.
What I’ve learned is that when something bothers me, whatever it is, I know it is my perception. Maybe I’m tired, maybe I’m hungry, or maybe there are other needs not being met. The circumstance that caused me to be upset is only a mirror, waking me up to something deeper.
If I pay attention, I can resolve the issue that is bothering me. If I don’t handle it, it will just keep coming back in different ways. Before long, I’ll act out, maybe even disproportionately to the situation.
So I’ve learned to pause. To keep the charms brightly shining in my life, they require some polishing. I do that by practicing two simple things every day: mindfulness and gratitude.
Every morning I meditate and allow anything and everything to fall aside as I prepare a fresh slate for the beautiful new day. Then I write in my journal. At least one page each morning has a list of things for which I am grateful. It is hard to stop. The world is a generous l place. We just need to focus and look at what is in front of us – a glass (half) full.