Optimism: a feeling or belief that good things will happen in the future
I may be the champion of encouragement, optimism and finding the joy, but really, who can be positive all the time? My life, like yours, has been a messy mix of sorrow, pain, challenges, boredom, anxiety, joys, contentment and excitement. We are all living the full catastrophe. In each of our lives there are long stretches where optimism seems like a fantasy and joy has flown out the window to nest in someone else's tree.
Right now I know of women mourning the death of a husband or a child, parents struggling with troubled children and young adults trying to find meaning in their life. Sixty year old friends have recently lost their jobs and with insufficient income and savings doubt they'll find work to support their family. I know men and women struggling with addiction, anxiety, infertility, and obesity. Friends are facing cancer and all other kinds of health issues, spouses with dementia, and aging parents.
In these situations, wouldn't the logical conclusion be to go to bed and pull the covers up over one's head?
And yet, for the most part, none of us give up. We still get up every morning and keep trying to make things better in any way we can. I'm not saying its easy or fun, but we do keep trying.
Being an optimist doesn't mean one always believes that good things will happen. I think optimism is big enough and flexible enough to embrace the idea that living optimistically also means that we don't give up when the going gets tough.
Give yourself that. Today you did the best you could with what life has given you. You keep trying. It may not be pretty and you may not succeed but you keep trying every day to live a life that reflects the values that are important to you. Give yourself credit for the courage it requires to get up each morning and face the challenges of your life.