Hopefully Devoted

I am, at my very essence, an optimist. I believe in happy endings, that the sun will come out tomorrow, that right will eventually triumph, that it will all work out as it is supposed to, if you just hang in and on, behave yourself and keep passing the open windows. I know bad things happen to good people, I’m not naïve, in fact, bad things have happened to me. But I also believe that those bad things are just hurdles and detours that can cause us to momentarily lose our way; with strength, perseverance, faith, and most of all, hope, everything will be okay. I believe this to my core, it is my creed.
However, I falter sometimes. I am human, and I’m imperfect. My feelings can get hurt, I can get discouraged, and if I go for months at a time without anything going right, or at least a little pat on the head, or the proverbial biscuit, doubt can creep in. Plus, I’m a worrier with a fantastic imagination, so it’s hard not to exercise that gift all the way down the line to the consumptive hobo under the freeway scenario, alone, unloved, with even Daisy Petals abandoning me because I can no longer provide her with premium treats.
I could write about this all day, every day, but I won’t. First of all, everyone has problems. In fact, many people I know and love are also juggling with their own sets of challenges and change. And we can commiserate and support and love and listen to each other, but the truth is, everyone must bear their own burdens. And while your own problems may seem to be the worst while you are going through them, that’s a singular perception that’s universally shared. Does that even make sense? I’d like to think it does. What I mean is, every person’s problems are their own, and to them, they are the most important. My circus, my monkeys. Your rodeo, your horse.
This week, reeling from a perfect storm of disappointments, rejections, more dental troubles, and a whole host of other decidedly ungood things, I have been feeling especially low. I even googled, laughing as I did it because it was so pathetic in the extreme, “what to do when you’re losing hope.” I’m guessing I’m not the first person to try this, because I got 30,700,000 hits! As I skimmed through, let’s say, the first couple of thousand or so, I noticed a prevailing theme. Practice gratitude, count your blessings, and realize how much worse it could be, or might be. And I know this is the right path out of the funk, but truthfully, even this Pollyanna stumbles now and then, and stays down longer than I might, because it’s hard. There, I said it. It is hard to keep the faith and I’m struggling with it.
So what can I do? Not give up, for one thing. Actually, it’s the only thing. No matter what, keep moving forward, and keep that faith even if it feels a bit like walking in the dark with no idea where I’m going. It reminds me of that scene from Willy Wonka, “there’s no earthly way of knowing which direction we are going.” If the worst happens, it happens. I’ll deal. I always have before and I always will again. And I know how lucky I am, even as I struggle. I know how much worse it could be, and how my hardships don’t come close to someone with real hardships, as we were reminded so tragically this week with the earthquake in Nepal. But as I said earlier, everyone’s problems are their own.
I don’t have a pat or cheerful ending to this post. I hesitated greatly to even post it, because it is not happy or uplifting or funny or any of those things I aspire to be. But, after a great deal of thought, I decided to go for it. It’s my reality, and I know I’m not the only one who struggles. So if I can share my thoughts, feelings or process and it helps one person, or makes one person think, or even gives one person an insight that they didn’t have before, it’s a win. And you know what, I really need one.
The end, for now

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