Anyone who has met me, friends/ coworkers/ healthcare providers, etc…most, if not all, would tell you that I am a pretty cheerful person!
I asked friends, “What is something you’d like to learn about me?” What was asked was this: “What fuels your optimism? You’re such a confident person, how do you maintain that?” and “Emotional challenges, how do you overcome them?” SO my friends and readers, this musing will be all about answering those questions, and please feel free to drop any other questions in the comments! HERE WE GO!
Alright, for as long as I can remember, I can honestly say that I have been a joy-filled girl regardless of situation or circumstance. Surely there were times I felt down, alone, confused and even angry at my situation. I also feel that I have grown SO much in these past 5+ years since my initial diagnoses of UC (later changed to Crohn’s).
For myself, my optimism and joy is 100% rooted in my faith that God will NEVER give me more than I can handle. Now, the way that I understand this text may be different than the way I often here it explained. What I believe is that God won’t give me more than I can handle *as long as I stay near to Him and He will carry me through it*. You see, I believe that without Him, I very much could NOT handle everything. Challenges and hardships are meant to draw us closer to Himself and it allows us to “Cast our cares upon Him”. When cares and worries and fears are cast onto someone else, much like a child has no concerns since the parents deal with those for them, we can have peace and joy and comfort knowing that even though it’s rough and scary, that we are safe and cared for.
We may not know the ultimate plan/ end game, but one thing I do know is that it’s WAY bigger, grander, more beautiful and wonderful than I could imagine! It is hard to remember sometimes, but I try to always remind myself that 1: not only am I in the watchful care of the perfect protector, but also, 2: when I do become stressed, worried, fearful about things…it only HARMS my body. Crohn’s is OFTEN triggered and brought on by stress!!! WHY on earth would I want to potentially send myself into a flare!?! Nope, no drama llama here, folks!! I am going to do whatever it takes in that moment to snap myself out of it! Am I feeling extra negative about people, or just in general?! I get my booty on Youtube and I crank on some Tony Robbins and Les Brown! Snaps me back every time, we cannot control what happens to us, we can only control our response.
Every morning, before leaving for work, I stand at my open garage door and put my fists on my hips, feet shoulder width apart and breathe in the morning air thankful for another new day, and I commit to: Take no crap (from myself), make no excuses, and go into the day with a loving and giving spirit.
Emotional challenges for me are a little bit more tricky…I tend to shove my emotions WAY down deep into my soul. I have no time for petty emotions! Life. Is. Too. Short. Frankly, if it doesn’t make myself or those I care about happy, then why give it any of my precious time? I learned, some years ago, that I cannot control what anyone says about me, and I can argue until I am blue in the face, but I will never change anyone’s opinion. I can change one thing only…how I respond to the negativity. I COULD let it take hold of my spirit, and allow it to drag me along behind it. OR I could simply turn the other way and remember that those who truly love me and actually KNOW me, know better. I move on with my time and energy and plug extra positivity into those around me. Simple.
Y’all my be thinking, “this girl is FULL of BS. NO ONE is happy ALL the time!!” YOU my friend, are absolutely RIGHT! I am human, as we all are, I have bad days, I have moments where I need to scream into a pillow, or when I snap at my husband out of some frustration that wasn’t even his fault! You know what though???? I DO NOT STAY THERE!!! I cannot let myself live in the choke-hold of anger, pettiness and frustration.
Still with me?? 😉 Awesome!! ❤
Now, confidence…I’ve always been outgoing, love meeting new people and making new friends! Something I have NOT always had is confidence. Learning to speak my opinion, stand up for myself, speak up when I don’t understand something, or whatever the case may be, has been a huge part of gaining personal confidence. The more I realized that I DO actually have something valuable to give everyone around me, the more comfortable and confident I have become! I love myself, my body doesn’t seem to love me so much, but you know what? I still love that I can use my circumstance to help others, and I can give value and love and energy to those around me, even if all that I have to give right then, is a smile.
Every, single, one of us has a beautiful smile that we can share! We literally ALL have value in ourselves to share with the world! Reminding myself that by actively changing my attitude and life, can actually encourage others to do so as well, enables my confidence to grow! You can too!!
I know this was a little long-winded, but truly know that for me, I know that with God ALL things are possible, and I can always rely on Him to carry me through the difficult times, knowing that there is a greater purpose, even when I am suffering! What I have faced and overcome, others have also, and now we have commonality and can encourage each other! Then when the next one comes along, we can say, “we’ve been there, YOU can overcome this and YOU can make this situation into something beautiful!” We can ALL, every one of us, make someone else feel appreciated, acknowledged, cared about! Seriously, even just sharing a smile can do more than you know!!!
“The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle” – Storm Jameson
Don’t miss the small things, look for the wins in life, every single day! Even on the WORST days, I’ll bet you can find at least one win! Hold on to that! Let it carry you through to the next day, and the next!
Love you all! Don’t forget to share a smile today you guys! Smiles are free and for everyone!!! ❤