Photo by Ashley Cova

Photo by Ashley Cova

As a perfectionist and an optimist, it's easy to always look at a situation and see how it could be better, how it could be different.

I was always looking on the bright side of things, looking for the silver lining.

This often lead to denial when a situation was shitty and painful.

There have been countless times that I've shared my experience with someone and the response was "at least..." At least I'm not starving. At least I have a roof over my head. At least. At least. At least. Are only the people in the worst conditions allowed to feel bad? I spent years thinking that I had no right to complain about the hardships in my life because "it could have been worse" but we do have to acknowledge the pain. And yes, it's so easy to get stuck in the negativity and to spiral in the other direction- to become a pessimist, never be able to see the good and become an endless loop of complaints. 

I'm finding the sweet spot. The balance between those opposite ways of thinking. Acknowledging the bad and uncomfortable, and accepting that it is what it is, THEN finding ways to shift it. Also acknowledging the good, great, amazing things and basking in gratitude. One of my favorite journaling exercises is to write about what I would like to change AND what I have gratitude for.

Listening to an episode of @yogagirl's podcast with @waylonlewis, the founder of @elephantjournal, reminded me this balance when he shared a quote by Pema Chodron.

"If the warrior (which is a noble human being who is serving the good of others and enjoying their life) can keep the sadness and pain of life in their heart and at the same time the vision brilliance of the sun rising up in the morning in their mind, then they can live a good life."