O is for OPTIMISM.
Optimism is defined as: “1. the tendency to expect the best and see the best in all things 2. hopefulness; confidence 3. the doctrine of the ultimate triumph of good over evil 4. the philosophical doctrine that this is the best of all possible worlds” – Dictionary.com
Optimism is one of my biggest struggles. It is very easy for me to “go to the bad place” and be negative whenever something goes awry in life. Staying optimistic is a daily battle, but it is one that is well worth the fight. Every time I overcome my negative thoughts and tendencies, I am one baby step closer to the serenity I seek. If you overcome the pessimism enough times, the optimism will soon become a natural reaction and the negativity will fall by the wayside. The majority of situations in life are neither bad nor good, they just are; it is our reaction to the situation that marks it one way or the other in our mind. So why not make it a positive one, and learn from it?
When your children have special needs, life is filled with ups and downs. Our children can be thriving one minute and failing the next. There are good days and bad days; sometimes it not even a full day, sometimes it is just hours or minutes that seem like an entire day. What we have found with our Angels is that our reaction to their behavior dictates what comes next. If we can stay clam and assure them it is okay to feel the way they do, and help them find a better way to release their upset, then the day straightens out rather quickly. However, if we react poorly, they spin out of control and it is much harder to get back to the “happy” place. Instead of concentrating on the “bad” and getting all “woe-is-me” about a situation, we need to look for the “good” and celebrate our ability to overcome the “yucky feelings” with our kids. If we yell, sigh in frustration, throw in the towel and focus on everything with negativity, then we are more pessimistic with each new situation and at the end of the day we feel defeated and horrible. However, if we smile, hug, play and sooth each experience with positivity, then we are more optimistic when the next episode happens and it is easier to overcome, and at the end of the day we feel like champions and blessed. I found this quote by John Heywood and really love it: “If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be.”
Optimism ‘Our Way” is defined as: “A conscious choice to see the positive, hope, faith and joy in each event so that we may learn from it and use it to make our lives even more Au-some.”
Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.