How to Be Positive Despite Trials?
My life was so mundane in the past few months. I usually get up everyday with the same kind of thinking and routine. I used to be worried everyday about employment, personal growth, family and the future. Until, I got into an accident. I couldn’t be spending my days with the usual routine that I hated. Now, I realized that those ordinary days were still better. Now, these insights dawned on me:
1. Practice gratitude.
I realized that life must be celebrated. Choose to be positive everyday. You must be grateful everyday that you are still alive - whole and still breathing. I realized that it is not about seeking what you can acquire (gifts, money, new stuffs) but it is about being thankful for what is already given. The past few months I was constantly beating myself up to make money. I was constantly feeling like a failure for not getting what I want. Now, with this accident, I realized that I was still fortunate before. I was still blessed before, that I was still whole and healthy. I’m still grateful now because my body is healing. I’m thankful that I’m still alive. You should not wait for a more tragic event to happen in your life and then realize that you are still fortunate and blessed.
2. Really love yourself.
Hating or blaming yourself might be the easiest resort when you fail or fall short of your own expectations. You do not realize that even in the smallest things you constantly blame yourself. When you often hear yourself with the “should have’s”, then these message signals self-blame. For example:
- I should have not entrusted him/her again.
- I should have protected myself from that person or thing.
- I should have listened to my instinct/friend/parent.
Realize that there are some things that you can control and some that you cannot. As Reinhold Niebuhr says it,
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
When you begin to rationally gauge which ones you have control over, you will learn to let go of what you cannot handle. When your friend mistreated you, you should not blame yourself for entrusting him/her. You should not put the brunt of the burden on your shoulder because it takes two to make a relationship work. When you failed to protect yourself or mishandled a situation, still put on that self-confidence. Say to yourself, “This incident will better equip me when I’m faced with the same situation.” For every negative situation, there will always be positive lessons to pick up that will strengthen you to face another challenging situation.
Loving yourself also means treating yourself as a friend. What would you do when your friend is sad, down or worried? You will surely cheer up, assure and support him/her. Thus, you should do the same to your very self.
3. Seek happiness.
It’s always a choice as you get up in the morning to focus on the good side of life. We are created to seek happiness. If you fail to focus on the light or happy moments, your body becomes stressed out. You lose that fire and motivation to be truly alive. Happiness enlivens the soul. That’s why they say, “Laughter is the best medicine.”
If you fail to see the light, this bible verse reminds you that we are created to live life more abundantly. John 10:10 (NKJV) says,
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
I realized that God (Higher Being) really wants us to enjoy life to the fullest. However, the negative forces (Satan) around us will also try to get the best of us. We are created for greatness. Thus, we must constantly strive to be in the “light” -- to be happy. Be the positive force that will light up others lives. There must be an hour or so in the day that you only focus on the good things or happy moments. Find time to enliven your soul and to be truly connected with your body.
4. Focus on God’s love and goodness.
There will be struggles in this world but it is only God that will give us hope. I choose to believe that there is a Higher Being that guides and protects me. I choose to believe that God’s grace is sufficient in my weakness. I choose to focus on Him and be positive, because He serves to be my “light” and provides me with endless hope as I face each trials. I choose to believe that God must have been sustaining me throughout my struggles for a purpose. Otherwise, He could have just gotten my life.
This bible verse suddenly came into mind, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NKJV)