22 Sep Spirit Optimist
Spirit: the nonphysical part of a person that is the seat of emotions and character; the soul.
Optimist: a person who believes that this world is the best of all possible worlds or that good must ultimately prevail over evil.
What’s a spirit optimist? It’s someone who always believes that there is a better reason, anchored in your heart, for something than what it may feel like in the moment. Or that’s the way I tend to explain myself.
I am a lover of romance and fantasy and I believe in the possibility of magic in the world. I also choose to believe that at the root of everyone and everything there is something good that can be gleaned.
It’s spiritual because it includes a power greater than me or anything else. It’s trust in a divine plan—even when it feels like disaster, pain, or confusion is exploding in every direction. Somehow there is this spiritual ability to pull out of the moment and look beyond to explore the potential big picture, to find a message or lesson that may lead to something that otherwise couldn’t be accessed.
I guess I don’t really like facing reality. But I live here on planet Earth and so my job as a human is to feel the nitty-gritty, juicy, smelly, beautiful spectrum of what life has to offer. Sometimes it’s mountain tops with fresh falling snow, gardens full of lilies, or sparking sunshine on gentle waves, other days it horns honking, concrete, confusion, illness, heartbreak.
From what I can recall, I’ve been like this my whole life. My father used to say to me “Samantha, you’re always making lemonade out of lemons.” I took pride in that, but I also have begun to realize that this tendency to look for the best can get me in trouble. I have made a lot of excuses for and stuck with situations or people when I really should have walked away.
Fortunately, being a Pollyanna helps when things are really difficult. Having the ability to pull out of the pain or confusion can aid in finding potential solutions. Unfortunately, it can also be a way to escape reality. Aware of this, I tend to live in a constant dance between trying to feel everything in my experience while also seeking spiritual explanation for why things are the way they are.
I don’t know if spiritual optimism is everyone’s answer for navigating life successfully, but it has helped me. Before connecting to my heart and the belief that there is a potentially positive reason for everything, I tried escaping with alcohol, sex, materialism, or all of the above. Those have left me feeling shallow and empty. I also tried immersing myself in therapy and analysis, while sometimes insightful, have also felt uninspired, helpless and depressing.
I believe the human heart is the ultimate guide to happiness and truth. While it is a visceral organ that powers our physical life force, it is also an energetic engine that connects us to our inspiration and reason for being.