I don't think I am an optimist...rather I think I am just really stubborn. My family jokes that we are cursed...you know the sort of thing I am talking about. Murphy's Law, but on a grand scale within my family. Everything from the register at the grocery store never failing to break down when we are next in line, and have been there for the last 15 minutes...with our 4 items..., to bigger things like horrible health issues that go hand in hand with job losses and other gloom and doom that I won't bore...or perhaps titillate you with.
However, I am a firm believer that even in the face of almost constant struggle, life is full of joy. Maybe not grand scale joys, but little things that can make us happy if we choose to let them. I am at a crossroads currently, well, I am moving past the crossroad onto the path I chose. My life is very fluid at the moment. It is scary. I am in a new city, among people I don't know, who speak a language I don't know either. I left behind everyone and everything that I knew, because I was living miserably. I chose to come here, and while it has been and still is sometimes scary and overwhelming in the hurdles I need to clamber over, I am still finding little things, daily to bolster my spirit.
I think this is something we HAVE to choose to do. It isn't easy, ever to choose to look at things positively, to look for things to be joyful about, to choose to be grateful for life as it is. There is the old adage that 'No one ever said life would be fair', and I think that is more than just fair as in justice, but fair as in sunny and sweet as well. Life isn't just, or sunny, or swell all the time. In fact most of the time, life is downright brutal. People all have problems, sometimes some problems seem less than others, but that is like beauty being in the eye of the beholder, right?
I was walking beside the river this morning and was stopped by a few Jehovah's Witnesses, evangelizing in German. When they realized I spoke English, they gave me their tract, written in English. I took it and continued my walk. On the front it said, "Does God care about us? And if He does, then why do we suffer. Will the suffering ever end." Now, I am not going to get into a religious debate here and now, but I will take that statement about suffering and turn it over a time or two.
I think suffering is just part of life. Without it, we don't grow, not in character, or spirit or in mind. Without suffering, how do we know joy? Wouldn't a life that held only joy, in effect devalue the meaning of joy? How would we know it was joy without the presence of suffering and pain? We wouldn't of course. We can choose to accept suffering and make it into part of our joy and happiness. We can choose to laugh even while we are depressed, we can choose to see beauty, even in the midst of darkness, we can choose to be grateful for a dozen little things daily, even while life is assaulting us. We still have worries and pain and suffering, but it doesn't have to consume us.
Life is good, life is grand, your life is YOURS, live it. With passion, with joy, with a stubborn grateful zeal. It is yours to live as you choose it. Choose passion over pain and fight for it tooth and nail.