Friday, June 12, 2015

Fear and Optimism

Lately, some of the people I come into contact with have been experiencing fear with certain issues.  Whether they are related to the workplace, family, relationships, health or finances it does not matter. They have had a gripping fear of things not turning out right, becoming hostile or not having enough to cover their needs. The fear did not just show up one day but more than likely has been accumulating over time. Most of the people have a relationship with Christ so they know that He will provide, but it does not stop them from having those feelings of doubt creep up and overwhelm them at times. It is natural for us to be overwhelmed by the unknown and worry about what may or may not happen but we have to remember that God DOES hear us...and will provide our needs...notice I did not say wants...but needs...that is a whole separate blog...moving along.

I have known that I am optimistic for a good while now...I know, major surprise to you all. Now this does not mean that I do not get discouraged, sad or worry about anything. What it means is that my default is that the glass is always half full...with room for more. I have had people ask me why am I so happy or why am I always giving the benefit of doubt? It is because I make the choice to be happy. When I get down about situations, I try not to stay in that funk.  I think the situation over, then find healthy ways to put my energy into use. It is not easy but it can be done. Many of you know that at one point I was married. Unfortunately, I divorced. That was definitely a sad time in my life, but I had to keep repeating to myself that life goes on, God still is in control of my life...and I was still alive and healthy. For me, channeling my energy into more productive things meant starting my blog and my business...which I cannot be more happy about. Now while I am an optimistic person, this does not mean that I am one of those all day happy, blissful, walk-around-cheesin-all-day kind of people (although it is not uncommon for me to smile), my mom can vouch for me not being a morning person. :-) Happiness and optimism can go hand in hand but they are not always simultaneous.

Optimism is keeping, realizing, maintaining the outlook that things will get better.

I can talk to someone when they are down and encourage them but something I will not do is invalidate their feelings.  Obviously, they feel the way they do for a reason because of their circumstances...and initially the last thing they want is rational advice.  Sometimes it is just a listening ear. Being present with someone may be all they need to remind them that physically they are not alone, which can calm their nerves.  Sometimes the ONLY accomplishment I have in a conversation with someone who is fearful is to get them to acknowledge that God is in control, which plants a seed of optimism in their mind.  It may not grow, but remembering that is a good enough start. Many people (including me) sometimes find it hard to see how God is there when we cannot see Him.  Sure, we can get signs of His presence through things around us and other people, but it is not the same reassurance. Now I have come across some people that just refuse to see a positive outlook...they are bent on only seeing the bad (pessimists)...I have found that I cannot have those people in my inner circle of friends...I may be friends/acquaintances with them, but when the rubber meets the road, I know that I need positivity around me, cause if not, worry and FEAR can easily creep in (and also DRAMA). 

Okay, so how DO you maintain optimism? Believe me, it is an everyday task...throughout the day, Satan, the Devil, Fate (or what ever you call it) can bring things to your mind to remind you that you are not perfect, that situations are too great for God to handle, they are never going to end....and anything you do will be of no help....and you have to remind yourself that it is not true. My favorite verse is Isaiah 43:2-3 and it reminds me that no matter where I go God is with me. God keeps me safe at times when I do not realize I am in danger (and at times when I do), He watches over me and protects me.  With that in mind, I have no logical reason to NOT be optimistic.  I already know hands down that he is covering the tougher situations that I cannot handle whether it is health, finances or family issues.  All I can do is my part....and if that means relying on Him, then that is what I do.

Life is too short to live under the constant cloud of worry, regret, fear and the like.  They will silently paralyze you and drip the joy out of your life...You will find yourself wondering why nothing good ever happens to you or why life is so hard.  You will not even realize how much TIME you spend being negative or fearful...and that time does add up.  The next time you are presented with a tough situation, remind yourself that life changes and that is okay.  We will go through good and bad times, happy and sad days, days of overflow and days of lack.... Refusing to give up is the first step...God said to cast all your cares on him...let Him "worry"/handle things for you....when you can do this, fear easily subsides and ceases.

"Just as the size of the mind of a ladybug is to me, so are my insecurities, heartaches and trials to God.  He is so much bigger than they are...Oh to let go and be secure and happy in God."