A few months ago, I hit a low point. Things weren't going my way, and bad, dumb, stupid shit kept “happening” to me. So in the midst of it, I let go of my optimism. I just kind of abandoned it. It took too much work to see the good in people and situations, and I got tired of looking for the lessons in the moment. I decided to be pissed off, checked out, and apathetic. I cursed the heavens (and some people) for doing these things to me. I whined about my existence and the frailty of my abilities. I loathed how hard the necessary work of being alive could be.
With all of this, I started to feel alone. No doubt, because I was alienating myself. I became fairly pessimistic (in the name of realism), and the pessimistic voice became much louder than any inspiring or optimistic voice in my mind. Soon, a couple of incidents happened where I depended on the help of others. I needed them physically, emotionally, and compassionately - I needed a break from someone who I had just refused to give a break to. I felt insecure reaching out, very uncomfortable, and very undeserving. I wasn’t sure that anyone would really want to help me. But people showed up for me, unquestioningly, and they were genuinely happy to be there for me. My friends, coworkers, family, and even a few strangers came through to help me, regardless of how deserving I felt I was of their help… regardless of my petty attitude and turbulent inner emotional climate… regardless of my pessimism.
I was so grateful. And admittedly, guilty. I felt bad for not being more optimistic, patient, and understanding. I regretted giving up on my optimistic approach. And this situation reminded me: people are fucking rockstars; goodwill wins; compassion goes a loooong way; forgiveness is the ultimate savior.
Practicing faith is easy in the moderate to good times, because the reasons for optimism are right in front of you, or are at least not being strongly challenged. It’s a lot harder to practice faith in the hard times, but, *obnoxiously large note to self:* the hard times are when we most need the faith that we’ve been practicing. We don’t need the faith when things are working out well and we’re not questioning life. We need faith when we really can’t see the good in things, when we don’t feel a sense of purpose, and when we don’t see a way out. That’s the whole fucking point of faith! To believe in the good in the midst of the bad! Faith is the most important at the moment when it’s the hardest.
I let this be my lesson to hold tight to my optimism and faith a little bit longer than I think I can next time, because the good times are going to come back around (they always do), and they’ll be much more enjoyable when I’ve kept my connection to them. I let it be my lesson not to deny my faith right before the help I need shows up - because it will always show up. There will always be the natural flow of life - and I know that I have more fun when I expect that the love I need will arrive - and I let it surprise me - right on time.
Shouts out to everyone who was there for me, and thank you for restoring my faith.