I spend alot of time teaching people how to find hope. Essentially, therapy is about teaching people that life can be better and how to create the change they want to see in their lives. I am generally an incredibly optimistic and hopeful person. I sometimes wonder if that comes at a price…that perhaps it’s unrealistic or naive at times….but it has usually led me to the right place. I guess my optimism is sorta part of my gut or “inner knowing.” I believe things will be okay, that they will get better. And because I’m a perfectionist who refuses to fail, I find a way to make that come true. So regardless of WHY…my optimism has served me well. Even if a decision seemed stupid or horrible, I always knew in the back of my mind that it was right for me and that it would lead to something bigger. I was usually right…always right really.
I’m a firm believer that struggle leads to growth and change and that we can’t fear the hard times…we MUST adapt to them, to find a way to respond that leads to an opportunity or a lesson. All of it sounds cliche I’m sure…all of the “everything happens for a reason” and “when god closes a door he opens a window” stuff…but I have found, with 100% certainty, that it is true. And when you help others to believe it too, they learn to create change in their lives. It’s not about just believing…it’s about learning to take action that gets you where you want to go. The BELIEF creates the energy, motivation, and knowledge on how to get there.
There are alot of people who come to see me whom life has treated poorly – or so they think. They see no way out and no hope. They believe they are victims of bad circumstance or poor parenting …and many times they are..but they often haven’t been able to see how they have stood in their own way of making their life better. Once they make that connection, things change.
I’m getting off track…
The point is..that I have faced ALOT of struggle lately. A baby on the way, the threat of losing my job and my benefits, being up against people who try to make me feel small an intimidating situation…and having to make decisions that I was not prepared to make. Many of you know about what is going on…many don’t..and it’s still not over. But in the last week a dramatic shift occurred in my thinking. I had been at a very low place. Even my eternal optimism had begun to waiver in the face of these challenges. But I made the decision to make lemonade out of this mess, dammit, regardless of the outcome. And even though nothing is resolved quite yet, I KNOW that it is going to be okay. I have chosen not to allow this to affect me, or my unborn child, negatively for one more freaking second. I WILL find a way to make this horrible situation work for me. I WILL find that open window and leap through it without fear or hesitation. I will… because I believe it and I’m willing to do the work to get there.
Fear and doubt change us. When we let fear or doubt make decisions for us, it starts a pattern that is destructive and terribly difficult to break. I work with people every day who have lived miserable lives RULED by fear and insecurity. When they learn their own strength, everything changes.
I started writing tonight with absolutely no idea where this was going or what I’d do with it. I’m alone tonight and I needed some clarity. I needed a pep talk and sometimes the best pep talks are the ones we give ourselves. Typing things out helps me alot. I should do it more often. So there it is…whatever it is. But I believe it. My optimism isn’t naive…it’s a good thing..it’s the reason I’ve overcome so much in my life. It’s the reason I’ve been able to force myself to make the tough decisions and walk through the fires that, at the time, seemed like the end of the world. My optimism is my compass… I think I’m going to keep looking up.