While commenting on a great POST by Paula Hathaway, The Downside Holds An Upside, I realized that I couldn’t properly express my response in just a comment and decided to write this post. I agree with Paula that we need to spend more time focusing upon the positive events in our lives, rather than those we perceive as negative.
However, I also believe that life is a series of events; we decide how to label them. I apply that precept to my life, and have found it easier for me accept those events I find distasteful and also to keep things in perspective. While we often label events as negative, there is usually a positive side that can be discovered upon careful examination. The events we experience, in and of themselves, are neither positive nor negative; they are events. We make a choice on how we wish to view them.
Some will disagree: “But what about when I lost my home to foreclosure or when I was diagnosed with a terrible disease? Those “events” were surely bad; they were negative.”
For me, even those events have no intrinsic negative value. What about the person who bought the foreclosed home at a great price? What about the agent who closed the deal? They saw the event as good. Then, there’s the doctor and his staff who will benefit from your treatment, the pharmaceutical company who will sell you drugs, the pharmacist, and countless others along the healing process. And, of course, there’s the possibility that your disease may cause you to appreciate life, family and friends in ways you never did before. There are countless possibilities. There’s also the mortician. . .
I see my life as one long series of events. Some I have found enjoyable; some I hated. But in the end I understood that I sometimes miss the point of the wondrous and exciting journey we call life.
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