Jennifer 11/4/14 -Optimism!



Dear Jennifer,

Optimism. It’s a quality you claimed to have. You lied. Optimism is the belief that things will turn out OK. You tell people so, and you believe it for them, but you’ve never believed it for yourself. I know your secret, Jennifer. You’re not really an optimist.

You know what gives you away? Fear. Optimism eradicates fear. It cancels fear out. Fear means looking for trouble. It isn’t logical, it isn’t sensical.

Don’t pretend fear is an acknowledgment of risk. Nor does eliminating fear mean turning a blind eye to risk. You’ve done that before and it’s bitten you. You’ve done the opposite, too, calling your fear “risk”, as if it made it valid.

But fear is never valid.

Fear is looking to the future and seeing failure and pain. Optimism is looking toward the future and seeing success and joy. How can you be so full of the former and claim the latter?

You can’t.

And so you won’t. Not in the way you used to claim it. You used to put it on like a coat of make-up, an armor. But now, when you claim it, you’ll drink it instead. You’ll digest it. You’ll make it part of you.

Optimism. The belief that things will turn out well. Not because you will make them so, but because you’re OK no matter what happens. Look at what you’ve lived through–you’re still here, right? You didn’t fall to pieces. You never lost your grip. You developed ways to punish yourself and now you simply will find ways to reward yourself.

You’re already “making it”, Jennifer. You “made it” as soon as you got up this morning. And so the future, whatever it holds, will be a good one. Because you’ll wake up and you’ll celebrate how far you’ve come. You’ll celebrate the exciting opportunities in front of you. You’ll celebrate the progress you made yesterday and the day before and the lifetime before that.

You will have risks to face, which you will have to mitigate. And you will have danger to face, where your body or your mind faces imminent destruction.

But have no place for fear. Have no place for looking into the future and expecting pain and failure. Start today, Jennifer, by acknowledging your dreams. By taking steps to make those dreams real. Start today by letting go of past hurts, and not expecting those hurts to continue. Make decisions instead of worrying, Jennifer, and the future really will be full of successes and joys.

Be an optimist and change your life.

To read more letters, click on The Path!


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