Your Brightest Optimism Comes From Your Darkest Pain

by Melissa Karnaze

flashlight shining into darknessIn these past eight months, I’ve pitched the optimism that Mindful Construct is all about.

That’s my intention, and this site continues to be about mobilization, response ability, and moving forward through life, no matter how painful it may be.

That’s all great, and hopefully inspiring to you.

But to be frank — it’s the pain I’ve endured in my life that allows me to even write about these topics with such optimism.

Yes, it’s the pain of my darkest hours that are running this site from behind the scenes.

As it should be. As I’ve been trying to show you, by emphasizing that we need to get into our emotions and the dysfunctional beliefs behind them if we are ever to grip sanity and get hold of our emotional selves.

That we have to do so if we are to ever truly identify our passions, find our voice, and sing true to our real goals in life. That we have to do so if we are to ever claim our greatest human freedom.

The last of the human freedoms

Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl didn’t write the inspirational best-seller, Man’s Search for Meaning, from his office chair.

No, he wrote it from his experience of living in Nazi German concentration camps. He wrote it from the horror he was forced to live. And it was that very horror that gave him the strength and the clarity to choose his optimism and will to go on (and later develop Logotherapy) — which he so beautifully captured in his book:

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedomsto choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

The last of your human freedoms

Your attitude is perhaps the most valuable thing you can possess.

With the right attitude, you can accomplish almost anything.

With a healthy attitude, you can transform bondage into freedom, suffering into wisdom, anger into gratitude, and pain into growth — an alchemical testament to the powers of the human mind.

But the right or healthy attitude you are looking for is not so easy to attain.

Freedom is learned from bondage

Before you can truly claim your right or healthy attitude, your brightest optimism — emotional resilience through all things — you need to understand why you want to.

Most of the time, the why is shallow until you find yourself so deep in bondage, like Frankl forced to live in the concentration camps. Because you can only perceive freedom if you have experienced bondage.

Your brightest optimism must be strong

To find your brightest optimism, you have but to look into your darkest pain. Because true optimism must have the endurance to bear any adversary and persevere, coming out stronger than it was before.

Lying in a field of flowers and reflecting on how precious and good life is means nothing if you cannot carry that optimism with you on a battlefield of war. It means nothing if it crumbles when you witness death, destruction, or other evils of the world.

It is only as real as its perserverence.

Find your brightest optimism in your darkest pain

What was the most painful moment of your life? Can you remember it clearly? Can you feel it again?

It was in feeling that pain that you were truly humbled. It was to that pain that you surrendered. Totally surrendered.

And then, time went one, and whether or not you fully recovered, you’ve found yourself here, today.

Something happened in order for you to make it from there to here. Something transformed. Something big. You had to cope in order to move on.

So how did it happen? What single thought, memory, belief, or feeling gave you the strength to move on?

If you can find it, then you’ve found the trace to your brightest optimism — the deepest beliefs that define who you are, those attitudes that give you the greatest strength.

My brightest optimism

I write here with the intention of sharing my brightest optimism, bit by bit, article by article.

That means I have to pull from my darkest pain. That means I have to feel it before it can mobilize me.

That’s what comes with being human, and having emotions.

That’s what we all have to do, if we are to share our greatest gifts with the world, and if we are to imbue our lives with the fullest meaning we can create — for ourselves.

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