What I am grateful for this morning…

  • The love that fills me, even from the other side of the world.
  • The wonderfully aromatic and mentally invigorating coffee that I have.
  • The fact that everything around me is drenched and flooded by Debby (the tropical storm that hit Florida), yet my home is standing dry and safe.
  • The food in my refrigerator and pantry.
  • The clean water still coming out of my tap even when many other people have brown water now due to the storm.
  • The bright, beautiful sun… especially now when we truly need it to shine.
  • My best friend who keeps calling to make sure I’m okay.
  • My girlfriend who cherishes me.
  • My pets who are truly great companions.
  • The internet that allows me access to this immense world.
  • All of the technology that keeps me connected every day.
  • The electric company whose hard work keeps my home powered.
  • Every single person who is assisting those in need after the storm.
  • My bookcases full of knowledge, adventure and pleasure upon its shelves.
  • My art supplies that allow me to create and express.
  • The yoga that keeps me balanced, physically and mentally.
  • The difficulties I’ve faced and am facing now, because of everything that I have learned and can learn from each one.
  • Language, because it is beautiful and it connects us.
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Life- it’s all about attitude

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” ~ Kahlil Gibran 

As much as people dislike hearing it, in most cases happiness is a choice.

Are you the type of person who revels in the delights of holidays? Or are you the type of person who is stressed and miserable until the holidays are over?

Everyone has the ability to choose which attitude they will assume in any situation. One can choose to look at the positive or the negative in circumstances and in life.

I am a generally happy person because I choose to be. When I contemplate my life, I see two halves:

On the one hand I have a pretty shit life. I’ve landed in some frankly deplorable circumstances. I’ve lost a multitude of people and things that have meant the world to me. I’ve gone without food and basic necessities. I’ve been mistreated and abused. I’ve been at risk of homelessness.

On the other hand I have been blessed in truly meaningful ways. I’ve been so fortunate that it’s hard for me to even comprehend. I’ve found love and friendship deeper than I thought possible. I’ve found peace and stability in chaos. I’ve learned to find the beauty in life, the hope in despair, the gratitude in tragedy.

Bad things happen every single day, but those things aren’t everything. Think of it as quality over quantity. I can have a myriad of negative things occur in a day or a week, and only a few good things. When I look at everything, though, I see that the good things are so much more deep and meaningful than the bad things, even if they are fewer. I only have a couple friends, but those friends are more true and genuine than all the acquaintances I could associate with.

I choose the attitude I assume in life. In tragedy I have found my own strength. I have done so without anyone else. It is true that people need to have love and support in their lives, but it is also true that in those times when one simply does not have anyone else in the world, it’s possible to not only manage alone but to thrive and find inner peace and strength.

Life gets rough; I’m not denying that. I have bad days just like everyone else. However, I know that I will be okay as long as I’m alive. Each morning that I wake up, I know there is hope. I could lose everything and everyone in my life and I know that I would get through the pain and persevere. I know this because I have endured so much and have come out of it on the other end every time. I choose not to dwell on past pain and misery, but to gain strength from my losses and struggles.

Again…

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” ~ Kahlil Gibran  

When anything negative happens to me, I acknowledge the negative and what I’m feeling, but then I choose to look deeper and find the positive. I choose to direct my attention to the positive and focus on the bright side, as cliche as that may seem.

Studies have shown that optimistic people are generally happier and healthier than pessimistic people. This may seem an obvious assumption, but think about two people afflicted with the same disease: one person dwells on their pain and misery while the other maintains a positive attitude and insists that they will overcome and beat the odds. Facing death, it would be incredibly difficult to be positive, but the chances of recovery for the person with the positive attitude are so much greater that those of the person who has resigned himself/herself to death. In order to survive, those people must have fight within them. The miserable one is not going to have that fight within them because they won’t see the point; they’re too wrapped up in their pain and misery. Both people may die anyway, but whose remaining days do you think are going to be more pleasant and enjoyable? If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, would you rejoice in today or would you dwell in misery on the fact that your life is over?

 

Choose happiness.

Find strength in difficulties.

Learn courage in opposition.

Be strategic when faced with obstacles.

Look for the hope in loss.

 

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” ~ Kahlil Gibran