Optimism vs. Feeling Down
If integrity calls us to be and act as our true selves, then it’s time to revisit our common choice of “feeling down”.
I believe that at the core of all of us is a calm, centered, and joyful person.
A simple look at babies will confirm that assumption. Babies (and children) are happy Beings by default. It’s only when a baby is affected by outer-world factors (separating from a parent, loud noises, long car trips, …) or inner-world factors (hunger, soiled nappy, wasn’t handed the toy fast enough!) that discontent arises.
But at the core, without stimulus, there’s calm.
There’s natural optimism.
Growing up is the symptom of experiencing more and more of these stimuli. Over time, they just become greater in number and complexity.
If integrity calls us to be and act as our true selves, then it’s time to revisit our common choice of “feeling down”. I’m not talking about depression here, which is something doctors can diagnose as a mental disorder. I’m not a doctor. And I also do my best not to get lazy with my words. I’ve been guilty (and quite likely, so have you!) of declaring myself depressed when really, I was feeling down.
And the relationship for which I’m building a bridge here is that feeling down is a choice. Because no matter our circumstances inside or outside ourselves, our feelings are ultimately our choice.
It definitely takes a huge amount of practice, self-awareness, failure, and energy to achieve full control over how we choose to react to each and every moment of our lives, but I believe it is also true that we can eventually gain full control over it.
We decide when it is right to cry, shout, or smile. True bliss!
So if we can choose to let ourselves feel down for a few hours, days, or weeks, then maybe we can take a moment to stop our inner and outer worlds from expanding and spinning around us. We can use the ephemeral stillness to reach our core and make the brave choice to behave with integrity, as naturally calm, centered, and joyful people.
Indeed, I believe that at our core, we can choose optimism.