As human beings, we are blessed with the ability to process emotions. This can be an amazing attribute when realizing the rewards of falling deeply in love, experiencing the magic of a new born baby or spending an awesome time with loved ones. Of course, it can be a not-so-amazing thing when dealing with a broken heart, losing someone from your life or facing the fact that planned events are no longer going to happen. What further complicates matters is that (more often than not) aspects which are out of our control help determine which emotions we actually receive.
For quite a while, I have tried to maintain the outlook to “be positive” with each situation that I face. That whole idea of the glass being half full instead of half empty. Of course, this viewpoint is only as strong as the most challenging test. In other words, it is quite easy to “be positive” when everything is going exactly as expected.
The concept of an acid test originated as a process used to differentiate gold from base metals. Over time, the term has been further adopted to refer to a severe and conclusive test which determines overall quality, genuineness, worth, etc. So, an acid test for my “be positive” outlook might be to see how it holds up against a scenario centered around those not-so-amazing emotions listed above.
Consider a situation where there were plans, ideas, goals and dreams which were discussed and maybe even put into motion. Then, something unexpected causes the foundation to break down with little or no warning. As a result, the emotions sway from being amazing to not-so-amazing at a rapid pace – leaving a great deal of emotional fallout to consume.
On the surface, it seems like a complicated process to quickly transform a persons emotions. However, as noted above, (more often than not) aspects which are out of our control help determine which emotions we actually receive. So, it can simply be the result of another decision that has been made. Regardless of the validity of the source decision, the end-result can easily trigger a tidal wave of those not-so-amazing emotions. Unfortunately, this is the perfect scenario for the acid test.
So, when faced with a scenario triggering those not-so-amazing emotions, I recently realized I have to ask myself the following questions:
- Did I try my best to lead/maintain the situation on the course that was discussed?
- Did I always keep my focus on the plans, ideas, goals and dreams that were set?
- Did I fight for the situation, without hesitation, in both the good times and bad times?
- Did I make sure to not give up on the situation, regardless of the circumstances?
- Did I reach out to God and pray about the situation?
If I can answer “Yes” to each of the questions above, then I know I did everything possible to try to avoid the not-so-great emotions. In my heart, I can “be positive” that I did the very best that I could do. Ultimately, the decision was simply out of my hands. My only option … to walk away.
I won’t try to paint the picture that my “be positive” outlook is immune from those not-so-great emotions. In fact, nothing can be further from the truth. I can only remind myself of the reality that the source decision was out of my control and try to focus on the positives that were part of the overall scenario itself.
Of course, just as easily as the emotions changed from being amazing to not-so-amazing, the reverse action is just as possible. I believe that is where the “if it’s meant to be, it will be…” phrase comes into play. My “be positive” approach certainly tries to keep this in mind – which leads to fostering hope that maybe this isn’t the final decision or the end of the story.
While the source decision was out of my hands, I know there is God’s plan which will ultimately reveal itself when the time is right. My goal is to not give up, hang in there and “be positive” in the meantime.