Just a switch

Life is interesting. There are so many things to see and do. There are people to meet and stories to hear. Sometimes life is challenging. I find myself overwhelmed by the minutia. I find myself bogged down by the climate and solitude of this dreary, cold, dark place.

It is amazing how much power the sunshine holds. All it takes is a few moments in the sun for me to feel whole again. The cobwebs recede. I can think again. I can feel hope and excitement for the future.

The ability to overcome our personal dark places is not something one just learns. It is the product of hard work and self evaluation.  I still struggle at times. I have bad days. These bad days could stretch into bad weeks or months, if only I allowed them to. I learned somewhere along the way I have complete control over the way I feel about things. I have complete control over my personal response to any situation. This has allowed me to find my way through all of the change of the past year. This has given me the courage and confidence to put myself out there and try new things.

For me, happiness is not a goal. It is something I choose to feel. There are times I am at a loss for those elusive feel-good vibes. Feel-good vibes? Seriously? Is that the best phrase you could come up with? Ignoring my snarky inner-voice requires vigilance. She is somewhat difficult to manage at times.

Flipping the switch. How should I describe this? Duh. You just did. Flipping the switch… Why can’t you just say what you mean to say already? Shh. I am trying to write about something serious here. There are times I find myself dwelling on the negative. I am entertaining self-absorbed, pretentious thoughts about who I should be. I am focusing on all the things I failed to do when I was younger. I forget to give myself a little credit for accomplishing my goals.

So, I turn on the light. I look at my life dispassionately. I evaluate my actions without considering the intentions. I honestly ask myself how much more I owe the world. Hmmm. Yep. You have a lot of shit which requires some serious atonement. When I stop focusing on the mistakes of my past and look at the reality of the present, I realize I am okay. I have so many opportunities. I am smart. I work hard. I want to be of service to others. These are all great qualities. I should focus on developing this side of my personality rather than the flagellation of myself for my weaknesses.

We have all made mistakes. Many of us have slept with people we should not have. We have said cruel things to or about others who were weaker than we are. We have harbored resentments and jealousies. I dare you to find someone who has never made a mistake. You should not regret all the bad ideas you have had. Some of them turned out to be fun in the end. The others, well at least you learned something. 

I can choose to regret so many things from my past. I can choose to resent the people who let me down. I can also choose to hate myself for any number of transgressions. This is simply not amenable to forward progress. By living in the darkness of the past, I fail to use the illumination of my present. All I really have to do is flip the switch.

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