I believe that life is full of opportunities to learn and grow. I believe there is always a chance–it could be a million to one long shot, but that is still a chance. As long as you are alive, living and breathing there is a way.
It isn’t optimism.
I do not always look on the bright side because when you are in the middle of it there is no side–bright or otherwise. If you’ve ever been there, you know what I’m talking about. It’s that place where you can’t see the end from the beginning. The muck is so deep and seems to go on forever in all directions. It’s all you can do to keep your head up and breathe, and even then the stench reminds you every second that you are still in it up to your chin.
In moments like that it isn’t optimism that keeps me going. It is nothing short of will power and faith. Not blind faith either, but the kind born of experience. My own experiences may not seem so trying when compared with those of others, but experiences aren’t meant to be compared, not like that.
Experiences are meant to be learned from, and it is in the sharing of the lessons we’ve learned that our experiences become significant. We all have our own trials, and those trials are particular to each of us. Some lessons are quickly and easily learned, others bare repeating. Some lessons even grow harsher with time.
It is faith.
I do not subscribe to the belief that there is a grand plan for each of us, like that our whole lives were planned before our conception. I believe that we are born with potential and what we make of that is up to us. We are born with the strength to make the most of our potential. Every test is designed to strengthen us, and an opportunity to gain wisdom.
I am not perfect, and I never will be. When I reach the end of my life my soul won’t be pure and pristine. My soul will be scarred with all my experiences. It will be weary from the fight, and ready to rest.
But until that day, I will live every moment. I will endure my trials and learn my lessons. I will strive to grow, and to help others grow. No matter how deep the muck or how bad it smells, I will find a way to grow because it isn’t optimism, but faith that keeps me going.
*Photo: Memories of a water lily’s dream by Joel Olives, obtained through Flickr.