I need a show of hands.
How many times - and be honest - have you done any, all , or some bendy, twister-inspired combination of the following:
- Sat for a long, stoic-like period of time making the statue of "The Thinker" look like amateur hour?
- Paced around room and worn grooves so precise, so perfect that you could play music off of them?
- Laid in bed. Awake. Eyes wide open - as if, staying hyper vigilant in that way you might stave off darkness and somehow, save the world through a sacrifice of sleep?
So, who has your hands up? Wow... Every one of you (and me too).
This brings us to the ultimate question: why?
Do we know that sitting and just wallowing in wait is a waste of time? Yes.
Do we know that pacing around the room is never useful and never helps unless you are a husband in a waiting room on an 80's sitcom waiting for your child to be born? True story.
Do we know that staying in bed while we silently fight the demons of our worries never, ever, ever helps? Check.
You don't need me to tell you that these things are a waste to time. But, for some reason, we all need to be reminded, don't we? We all forget these simple truths.
You know who doesn't?
Is Santa coming? Sure thing.
Can wishes make dreams come true? You bet.
Is the stick I found on the ground a magical sword that I can use to slay the dragon and win the kiss of the princess? Damn straight!
Now, Santa, wishes, and a magical stick may sound like the stuff of fairy tales (or a great album title). However, so are the ideas that the worry, dread, and chaos of inaction, deep thought, and a sleepless night create. What they have in common is that they are all dreams; realities we create and choose to live in.
One set of these realities is dim, depressing, and can suck in our souls like a spiritual black-hole. The other set of realities is about hope. In fact, hope isn't the right word for them - it's too small, it doesn't quite paint the right picture. No, this second set of realities is ruthlessly hopeful.
This brings us to our choice for this week, this day, this moment. Where do we want to put our energy? Do we want to be passionately pessimistic? Do we want to make the choice to live a life that looks for the negative? Or, do we want to step out of that box and live ruthlessly hopeful - looking for the solutions, the positive outcomes, and the lessons learned?
The choice is yours. And if you want to be passionately pessimistic...it's not hard - just turn on the news, or get lost in Facebook - others will seemingly do the heavy lifting for you.
However, being "Ruthlessly Hopeful" doesn't have to take an epic belief in something greater than yourself (or supernatural). Start small. Just build on the good things you know can happen: The sun will rise tomorrow, my next breath will come, flowers will bloom, and on and on.
Life can't always fix itself. And, yes, bad things do happen - life can be sad, depressing, and tear-inspiring. I'm not saying to ignore these things. I'm not saying to not acknowledge the bad. What I am suggesting is that you don't have to give up. You don't have to become one with them. You can choose differently. Trust there is a solution; a way to topple the terror that is in front (or behind) you. Whatever your Goliath in life is - trust that your slingshot exists. Or, if classic horror is more your style - if you are facing a werewolf, trust that you'll find (or create) the silver bullet you need.
Live ruthlessly hopeful.