I have always been a “glass is half full” type of person, but sometimes I wonder if a “glass is half empty” personality leads one to more peacefulness?
I know people who make no effort to find blessings in all of life. I have always looked for the treasure in every experience, even if I had to dig through mountains of excrement; I’ve always possessed some certainty that there was some raw diamond to be found in the experience.
Despite my perpetual positive attitude I’m not sure that I actually spend any greater time dwelling in peace than those I know who do not share these tendencies.
I have a friend who repeatedly states that she hates her work, yet leaving the job is never even considered as a possibility. She spends her Sundays in mourning, depressed about the upcoming Monday morning. This same person refuses to hope because she has a powerful fear of disappointment.
Where I see opportunity this lovely soul focuses on risks. In a situation where I can see a possible beautiful outcome, she sees only possible discomfort.
When I hope, she refuses. She prefers not expecting; therefore giving herself the possibility of a pleasant surprise if something good happens, instead of risking the disappointment of hoping and having that desire unfulfilled.
I offer this background because it is possible that this individual’s balance, durability and tendency to stay on an even keel through life’s up and downs may be greater than mine.
She is seldom flustered by disappointment, since she refuses to hope. I, on the other hand, can have dramatic mood swings when things do not go the way I had hoped they would. There is some wisdom to be found in not giving desire any power, whatsoever.
To me, life has always seemed a little flat without my investment in hopes and dreams. I am not saying that my friend has no desires; she simply does not allow herself to anticipate any outcomes, thereby shielding herself the unhappiness inherent in disappointment.
It’s possible that I will never change. I am sixty and I still love the mystery of a surprise. I always have. As a kid, I loved Christmas Eve. We did not open presents until Christmas morning and that night, lying in bed trying to sleep, was the most magical of the whole year. To some degree, I embrace that love of mystery in my everyday existence. I find the pain associated with disappointment to be less risky than the thought of losing this enthusiasm for life.
While I can never really be inside the head of my friend, she, unknowingly, teaches me. She certainly rolls with the flow of life with less turbulence than I do. She is not tossed and turned, with the ups and downs of life’s movement.
I would never want to give up my love of anticipation, but there is some wisdom, to be found, in not giving unfulfilled hopes any power. It is a lesson that I am still learning. I am very grateful to have such a wise friend helping me find what is apparently the more peaceful, middle ground.