Since the beginnings of my battle with depression and perfectionism, I have come to little epiphanies or victories if you will. They often come in small doses and more often than not come irregularly but nonetheless, they do come. And when they do I am reminded why I decide to continually keep struggling with this and to continually strive to fight it.
I, like all of you, struggle with many things. Life is hard. There are financial woes, heartaches, stresses, frustrations and all kinds of other things that seem to constantly be dragging many down into a state of misery and discouragement. (I know, I'm 20. How could I have dealt with anything discouraging? Just trust me.) Even the most elect of this human population would agree with me in saying that life is just inherently difficult. No wonder people are so depressed! Times are hard! We are all trying to live up to a certain standard and when we fall short, we are getting down on ourselves for not quite measuring up.
I believe humans naturally tend to have a "glass half empty" approach. It is simply in our nature to immediately see the negative in a situation. (You can disagree with me all you want but even the most positive person in the world has struggled with negativity at one point or another.) Being positive takes a LOT of work, whereas being negative seems to be easy. It's easy to look at some of the things I have struggled with and still struggle with and think, "Why me? This sucks."
We often hear in church/Pinterest/business settings that, "It is our reaction to adversity, and not the adversity itself that makes us who we are... blah blah blah." Okay so what you're telling me is that when my bank account starts going negative I should immediately have a positive reaction and praise the Lord? Cause that is never my first inclination.
I would like to suggest instead perhaps a different way of interpreting this quote. That is to say that instead of our IMMEDIATE reaction to adversity making us who we are, I would suggest that it is instead our reaction DURING our adversity that truly makes us who we are.
Now, I don't expect any human being to be particularly positive and upbeat 100% of the time in which said person is struggling with something difficult. I find that to be much too exhausting and frankly, I'm all for some well-worded sarcastic negativity. However, I believe that in order for adversity to change us and make us better, something has got to change within us DURING the trial. Whether that's a better attitude or a greater willingness to humble ourselves before God is a personal thing. But I believe what it universally comes down to is this: through every trial and through every heartache we must find SOMETHING good. I know I sound like a total cliché and that this is nothing new but boy, is it difficult to truly commit to doing this, especially when dealing with things that are incredibly difficult. However I have been practicing for several weeks now and I can tell you that once you get started and really dedicate yourself to finding the good, you'll be amazed at what you discover!
I have found as I have dedicated my thoughts to embracing the challenges I experience and being willing to conquer them with the Lord's help that I have felt a new sense of motivation and peace and stronger desire to keep moving forward. So try it! Find something good. I know some of you are thinking I'm Positive Penny and that this is ridiculous, but I promise usually I'm Grumpy Han and when I pull the Positive Han out of my pocket, miracles happen. So just trust me! Get some good positive thoughts running through your mind. You will be amazed at what they can do if you commit yourself to the positivity and keep moving forward.