I had always believed being happy was a choice, that one chose to see the proverbial glass as half-full or half-empty. I lived with the mantra that if I always walked about with a positive outlook, I would be numbed to the pangs of sorrow that came my way — that it was better to accept the negatives and move on, and that if I were happy on the exterior, I would feel the same positivity within.
Perhaps it is not so beneficial after all to always try to look at the positives. Perhaps stowing away uncomfortable or unpleasant feelings does not promote any long-term benefits. Refusing to acknowledge the reality of a crumbling relationship, for example, does nothing to save you from the inevitable resentment or grief. Obviously, it is better to acknowledge the fact and make a concerted effort to improve, but what if it is not within your power to change a situation? What can you do if the people you love disappoint you by disappointing each other? What can I offer my personal mediation if my hands are empty?
I used to think that at the very least, whatever struggles came my way would make me a stronger person with more depth of experience. Grief and disappointment made me a more stolid person, but the bitter evils of resentment tear down the emotional fortresses I’ve learned to build during the past seven years, leaving behind only a shell of an individual.
The biggest struggle is finding the balance between ignoring life’s woes and facing the blows with dignity. I just need to find my footing on that emotional spectrum and accept what I cannot change.(Originally posted May 15, 2011)