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.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

TransAlchemy June 7, 2009 at 9:11 pm

Im starting to understand the body of your work and the journey your taking us through. A journey that I too have and am walking. The ability to harness the sheer intensity of my emotional peaks and releasing it into a creative outflow has greatly helped me express myself.

Yet I must say its easy to give into the pain, its easy to let the optimism fade. Its easy to let it consume us and ultimately destroy us. So I believe this is why you write, to kill the pain to rage the war against all the negative “stories” that run through our head on a daily.

Over time the pain becomes indistinguishable from freedom, for Im always “free” to feel as I choose. So when I feel pain I must remember is of my own choosing. All the emotional states of mind is what ultimately makes us human.

With that said Ive learned to love the pain, Ive learned to embrace the spectrum of emotional states that come with our humanity.

Melissa Karnaze June 8, 2009 at 6:41 am

“The ability to harness the sheer intensity of my emotional peaks and releasing it into a creative outflow has greatly helped me express myself.”

That’s what I love to hear, TransAlchemy! We all have the ability to do this — imagine what would the world would be like if we did…

“Yet I must say its easy to give into the pain, its easy to let the optimism fade. Its easy to let it consume us and ultimately destroy us.”

Yes, it is easy, and I do let it fade, when it must. It’s all about cycles of rebirth and renewal, as is personal growth. I’ve got my own lifetime share of stories in there. ;) So yeah, it takes patience.

“So I believe this is why you write, to kill the pain to rage the war against all the negative ‘stories’ that run through our head on a daily.”

From an outside perspective, I can see how it would look like this. That in writing I’m trying to get rid of my own pain. From a certain angle, this is true. I like to think of it more like, sharing my journey so that it may help you make sense of your own.

But actually, I’m writing in hopes to show that we don’t have to “get rid” of or “wage war” against anything. Because we don’t have to fight what is — essentially a part of ourselves, or rather our ingrained responses based on our belief and assumption sets about the world.

The bottom line is, I wouldn’t be able to write here if I didn’t make peace with my pain, by surrendering to it and all the warped stories that give it strength. I’ll be writing more at length about this relationship with oneself in the future, and for now I refer to it as integration. When you integrate, you don’t fight, you surrender. You take all the best parts from what you originally wanted nothing to do with — and what you then gain is, to say the least, invaluable.

Sherrod January 20, 2010 at 1:21 am

Allow me to interject, just for the MOMENT, if i may be so arrogant to claim
an absurdly minute barely suttel piece of those multidementional defining vibrations
as my own. (TIME is “maybe” merely an embassador of this great phenomenon)
A man made concept spawned from the human emotionaly driven compultion to wonder and dwell. At any rate, who are we? what are we? If you listen to the wisper of these vibrations you would understand the answer as being who gives a &^$%. Infinitly motivated energy waits for no one, nothing, you lose.
Dont slit your throat yet, there are some positives. You share a demention with other like beings that have similar feelings and emotions that you can interact with on a concious level these “vibrations” can never appreciate.
Imagine being a great painter your world over but never be able to see your own masterpieces. Never enjoy a laugh or purge a cleansing cry or never tasting your favorite treat never choosing a mate nor expierence love,not to mention sex drugs etc.
So stop the blood clot crying! You only lose once just understand you’ve already lost then you can really enjoy the countless simple WINS that bless you. “for instance”

PS. Cute pic mrs Karnaze!!!!

Melissa Karnaze January 20, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Sherrod, I’ll rephrase for the other readers since I’ve a feeling the “vibrations” part lost them — feel free to correct me if I’m misinterpreting.

You’re basically saying that there is no way to define a “person” as a concrete tangible object — because everything in the universe is energy. (Some quantum scientists view the universe in this way, as unified consciousness/energy.)

Which means, who *you* are is simply vibrations of energy (think Superstring Theory). And in other dimensions of existence — which aren’t as “physical”/dense as this one is, but are more energetic — the beings/”bundles of vibrations” there don’t have the luxury of being able to manifest their visions, arts, creations, emotions in “physical acts” such as making a painting or falling in love (the experience of falling in love has a lot to do with how the physical brain is wired).

So, you’re saying that we humans should remember this spiritual principle and savor all the richness and possibility that the denser/”physical” dimension has to offer. Indeed, a very spiritual take on optimism, thank you for sharing your perspective.

The only trick is to not stop the crying because you judge the crying as being bad or ungrateful of your physical existence. The crying will stop on its own accord, once the pain behind it is fully integrated. As I see it, this physical dimension is well-suited to challenge us to integrate polarity, especially when it comes to emotions. :)

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