The last couple of days have brought back to mind this question for me.
I was told by a couple of people that they see me as a very positive person, someone in the realm of the warm and fuzzy, in fact they questioned whether I could ever have the tough talks sometimes needed by a leader. Now granted these folks have only known me for a couple of months so they have never had to see the tough, serious side of me that most have had to witness in the past.
But this discussion led me to a realization: I have come a long way.
I did not grow up in a positive environment. I grew up in a family where my top grades never seemed to be good enough, where I never heard my parents tell me they were proud, where little affection was really shown.
I am not saying my parents were horrible, just that they probably didn't know any better. My mother probably never got much affection from her own mother and so didn't know how to show it to her own children. I quite often felt as if I had not really been wanted by her.
When my parents got divorced, I was 15 and dealing with my own troubles.
This may have been the first time in my life I realized that I had a choice to make: I could either let the wave of negativity swallow me or I could decide to ride it and get above it until I reached a more positive blue sky.
This has been a difficult path. So much has happened to me that lead to despair at times, depression several times and ultimately an awakening. I have a choice.
I have the choice to see the glass as half full or half empty. I have the choice to see the thorns or the roses on the rose bush. I cannot control certain things but I can control how I react to them and how much I let them affect me.
I have been knocked down many times, hurt many more, violated once but I decided that eventually I would have to find that famous silver lining every one talks about.
I have also decided that I cannot always be positive. No one can be happy 100% of the time. And that is ok. I am giving myself permission to cry, get mad, get sad every now and then. It is natural to feel that way and you need to let it out. But what I will not do is let this last for more than a short while.Or let it make me bitter. Because if I do, then I am giving the power to those emotions to take over. And I will not let that happen.
If you ever have a conversation with someone who came to realize their own mortality, you know how grateful they become for the simple things in life. Just living becomes a very powerful and positive experience.
So why should we wait for the moment when we get sick, almost die or lose someone. Why can't we learn to appreciate those things before the bad things happen ?
I can say that I am amazed when I look where I started to be able to hear now someone calling me a positive person.
And I will take this as a good thing, a great thing, an accomplishment.
So tonight was rough, I cried, I got frustrated and wondered what to do next.
But this will be a temporary thing. I will pick up the pieces and keep going. And I will stay positive because for me that is the only way to go :)