I know people who seem perpetually positive and upbeat. I’ve known them for years. They’ve been dealt some rough hands in life, so it isn’t that they’re simply Pollyanna’s.
Despite dark events casting shadows their way, they continue to show up with an attitude that fearlessly affirms the “rightness” of life; of their life, just as it is. When they face bad shit and say things will be ok, I’m convinced they believe things will be ok. If they’re feeling any doubt or uncertainty, I don’t feel it.
Which has me wondering: do they get “down”? Do they feel doubt?
Given I can’t figure out what’s going on in my own head most of the time, trying to figure out someone else’s head is a cluster-feck fantasy.
And yet…I wonder.
I wonder because I envy them their apparent confidence and inner peace. I wonder how they found it and if it’s real. Or maybe they do have doubts but have simply decided, as a conscious choice, to beat them back. To lock them in a chest and not share them with the world.
To not feed them by not talking about them. Because, as some folks say, when you feed something, you make it stronger.
But then author Brene Brown would probably say that talking about such things is how we connect with others; that sharing makes us vulnerable.
So still…I wonder.
These same friends also don’t seem to second-guess themselves or appear to spend untold hours defending their thoughts or actions in front of an inner critic, the character in my mind I call The Judge.
The Judge challenges so many of my thoughts and actions it can feel like I’m being whipsawed. By the time I finally make a decision about something, I can feel shredded, my decision coated in doubt and uncertainty.
I look at my friends with their positive attitudes and fearless confidence and I feel inspired.
And quick as a bee sting, The Judge comes in and begins the whipsawing. “Sure, feel inspired,” she says. “But that perpetually positive attitude isn’t you and won’t be you, no matter how long you meditate. Dream on.”
There is no second-guessing in her verdict. The Judge has at least that trait I’ve been admiring in my friends: confidence and conviction.
How ironic where and how our strength can show up. How nice to be able to recognize it, even when the messenger is surprising.
Now I just have to figure out how to take that assurance and redistribute it to the other characters performing on stage and waiting in the wings. It definitely needs to be generously circulated.
Maybe the positive attitude is in there, too. Out of sight, but available, just waiting to be recognized.
I’ll hold onto that belief as an optimistic possibility.