Looking out the window keeping on the sunny side should not be difficult. Clear skies and sunshine. Looks positive. However, step out the door and one’s perspective quickly changes. A brisk wind. 15 degrees below normal. You really have to ignore the fact that yesterday was technically the first day of spring. It has become rather tedious.
I have thought long and hard about what I wrote last week. There is something that does not sit right with me. Not that I don’t agree with what I wrote. Perhaps it is more of a matter that I should expand on it. Keeping perspective, as we do with the weather, is good. We need to do that. However we also need to be realistic. As much as we have officially entered spring, as much as we know that it will happen some day and as much as we realize that it could be worse we also have certain wants and wishes. We should not ignore them.
Some years ago, after having talked to a group on depression, a participant approached me and began sharing some of the struggles he was having. He could relate too many of the things I had just talked about. But then he said that he really had nothing to complain about. You see. Just the day before Haiti had experienced a devastating earthquake. He felt chagrin, and perhaps even shame, at even thinking he had problems compared to what millions were going through in that country.
This is where we need to tread very carefully. As much as we try to keep things in perspective we must remain cognizant of what we are experiencing. Suggesting that other people are experiencing something worse than us and therefore we should just be happy is not being fair to ourselves.
I would suggest that no matter what we are experiencing we could always find someone that is in a worse situation. And to a degree that does bring about some relief. But it does not fix our problem. Regardless of what is happening in another country, regardless of what my uncle is going through, regardless of what I just heard from my cousin, regardless of the dilemma I dealt with this morning, regardless of how someone else is experiencing health issues, regardless, regardless, regardless. If I am feeling despondent, sad or upset about issues in my life those issues are important, need to be dealt with and cannot and should not be minimized.
We all have a right, we all have the need and we all should feel upset about things happening in our lives that bring pain, hurt or mental anguish. That is normal. However, having these issues fester and stew and control our lives is a problem. That is where the idea of “making it a gooder” comes in. Remember when I talked about mindfulness in the past? Finding your happy place?
Hence the title to this diatribe. Keep on the sunny side. Perhaps that is all we have. I often find that I beat myself up. Think I could have and should have done better. Blame myself for my misery. Becomes a very lonely world. I read some words of wisdom today. They challenged me to be gentle with myself. To never underestimate my own strength. That gave me a sense of comfort. A sense of direction. Perhaps I never will have today, what I think will make me happy, what I think would only be fair. But what I have today can make me happy. That is the key. Keep on the sunny side. Make it a good one.