Today I was talking to someone at work, a client I will be training in the future once they have gotten a few things ironed out. We were very much on the same page and it was great to talk to someone else that embraces appreciating everything.
Have you ever met a person that had a trauma, be it physical or emotional, and in spite of that they have the best outlook on life? Yet you can meet another person and they have had more opportunities and advantages than most and see nothing good in their life or in the people around them? I've met many of both and I wonder how those paths are chosen. It isn't like there is a fork in the road and a sign that said "Optimism" and "Negativity". If it were only that easy!
I wonder where it all begins. Where is that first incident that the first person sees as an opportunity or a blessing and the other person sees nothing beyond something to complain about? Over time complaining becomes second nature and appreciation is a forgotten talent. Yet improving your life and that of those around you is as simple as appreciating what you have, every day, every moment.
There's a quote I like (I know, there are many that I like):
Happiness is not having what you want. It is wanting what you have. – Anon
However, since I'm being all cerebral and contemplative here I believe I'd like to change 'wanting' to 'appreciating' and that is where true contentment and happiness can be found. Or we can go deeper than appreciating what we have to appreciating who we are. How can you value anything you have or anyone around you if you don't value yourself?
For a great many years of my life I didn't value myself at all and spent a great deal of time lamenting over my flaws. That was comfortable and familiar and I extrapolated it to lamenting over the flaws I saw in others. When you are looking for flaws suddenly they are everywhere.
Now I'm appreciating things about me more. That leads me to seeing and appreciating so much more in everyone around me, and everything around me. It really is an inside job.
Contemplating the choices in life,
I wish I could show you,
When you are lonely or in darkness,
The astonishing light of your own being.