Often, the stresses of life may weigh upon you so heavily that you will do whatever you can to make through to the end of the day. Your boss may be very demanding of you at work, you children may be a handful to manage at home or your friends may be a magnet for crises that you often help them overcome. And once you make it to the end of the day, you often rush to grab a quick bite to eat and to run to bed just to start the rigorous process all over again.
Many view this cycle as unbreakable, detrimental and tumultuous — and may feel like emotional prisoners in their own lives. Because of that, relationships with loved ones strain, workplace productivity suffers and one reaches a level of hopelessness that no one should ever endure.
However, if you flip your perspective, if you focus on the light inside you despite the surrounding darkness, you might just find a means to cope with the pressures of everyday life.
First, remember there is always hope in any dire situation. Desmond Tutu once said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” In the face all that is negative for you at the moment, never forget that your tribulation is temporary. Take note of the old proverb that says, “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” Though it may look bleak for you now, hold out hope that you are just moments away from seeing another beautiful sunset; that a new day is coming where you can wipe the slate clean and begin anew with a positive outlook and a refreshed spirit.
Robert H. Schuller once said, “Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.” Allow the power of hope to brighten your way and eradicate the darkness of negativity from your life. There is positive change coming for you just around the corner; be ready to receive it and be grateful for it.
Secondly, have faith in your abilities as a strong, capable human being with the potential for greatness. Whatever obstacle you have before you, you will overcome it. Whatever hardship that weighs you down, you will shed yourself of it. In the New Living Translation of the Holy Bible, at Hebrews 11:1, it says, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” We may not see how things are going to change for the better, but have confidence that, if remain positive and act in accordance to our potential, they will. Our species surmounted impossible odds and invented airplanes, automobiles, vaccinations for deadly diseases, and even walked on the Moon. Mankind is capable of anything if they put their mind to it — which means YOU are capable of anything if you do the same.
And most importantly, never lose sight of the fact that you are a universal lottery winner.
Scientists found in the 1920’s that this universe is filled with at least 50 billion galaxies. Reading that number you may think that it is actually 50 billion stars but it’s not. Each galaxy in our universe contains billions of stars, and overall, the universe is comprised of 50 billion galaxies. Every day, any number of stars form and die, giving life to new stars and other celestial bodies. Energy is in constant flux in the universe all around us while we spin around on this giant blue globe we call our home. The sheer magnitude of outer space is mind-boggling to say the least!
And within all that astrological magnificence, the infinitesimal elements of the universe combined in a unique and productive way to form a life that is all its own in looks, mannerisms, beliefs, emotions and desires … namely you. You are a marvel, a magnificent creature, a rare and precious gem that has no equal in design or value. The sheer fact that you exist in your current form, considering the vastness of our universe and all of the factors needed to produce the miracle of life, proves that you beat the odds and won the universal lottery!
So, when taking account of this fact, remember to always be grateful for every day of life. Harry Harrison, a New York City morning DJ on the famous oldies station WCBS-FM, used to begin every show with the phrase: “Every brand new day should be opened like a precious gift.” Despite being universal lottery winners, the time we get to enjoy “our winnings”, namely our lives, is not guaranteed. So let us always be grateful and appreciative for the time we have left going forward.
Lastly, when you focus on the light inside you despite the surrounding darkness, you will become a light that others look to during their own times of peril. They will turn to your example as one to emulate in their own lives. That type of attitude is contagious and by displaying it regularly and genuinely, you will be part of a greater philosophical network — and not be just another cog in the negativity gear-works that shapes our modern society.
For example, instead of being frustrated with your demanding boss, be grateful for having a means to maintain your financial stability and to take care of yourself. Instead of being frustrated at family members who constantly come to you to solve their problems, be flattered and appreciative that they view you as a capable person able to problem-solve. Instead of being jealous of friends achieving their career and life goals, be happy with them and support them knowing that your chance to shine is just over the horizon.
If you focus on the light inside you despite the surrounding darkness, you will no longer be trapped in a torturous, emotional prison, but engaged in a happier, healthier, more enjoyable life. It is just as Aristotle Onassis once said, “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”
(Positive Posts is an ongoing motivational series meant to uplift and encourage readers of all ages. Nicholas C. Martinez is a journalist, writer and former ordained minister of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.)