Thursday, June 28, 2012
Taking the good with the bad....
Do you say, “You have to take the good with the bad”? or “You have to take the bad with the good”? I caught myself saying, “You have to take the good with the bad” this morning and realized that’s the way I usually say it.
Saying it that way means the bad is what’s normal and expected and the good is the exception that I have to make an effort to ‘take’ and accept. I don’t want to think that way - that the ‘bad’ is what’s normal and the ‘good’ is the exception, but I realize that I do.
I prefer thinking of myself as an optimist, not a pessimist, but apparently, given how often I catch myself saying, “You have to take the good with the bad,” I am a pessimist and my default attitude is that good is the exception and bad, the norm.
Where does that attitude, that pessimism, come from? Do I apply it uniformly, to everything I experience, or to just somethings? I think it comes from the political media culture; that the more I watch, listen and read about politics, the less hopeful and more pessimistic I become. Optimism, on the other hand, seems to be present when I think of us, humanity, as spiritual beings having earthly experiences.
When I think of humanity’s spiritual reality and earthly potential, I’m both optimistic and pessimistic. Optimistic about what we can accomplish and are already accomplishing in some areas, and pessimistic about what we’re not accomplishing but could; about the gap between our spiritual reality and our earthly performance. So, I’m working at being more mindful and more aware of where I’m coming from and what I’m saying and choosing my reality and optimism over pessimism more often.