When everything has gone to shit, the last thing that you want to hear is that it’ll be okay and that the damage is not worth your emotional energy.
That’s why I was so delighted with Candide the first time I read it over 10 years ago.
I loved Voltaire’s critique of the outlook that “everything is for the best, even if it’s the worst,” but I also subscribe to the same “best of all possible worlds” philosophy that Voltaire mocks.
Contradictions abound. The civil war in my mind aches.
Cruelty makes me feel foolish; innocence makes me feel jaded.
When opposite circumstances both break your heart, you learn (besides that you’re a sensitive person) that there is no shortage of reasons to be upset all the time.
How do you want the external to affect you?
Do you want to be upset?
While you may quickly answer, “Of course not,” I always heed the adage “actions speak louder than words.”
Do you proofread your life and make corrections that promote peace?
It’s often much easier to maintain upsetting situations than to transcend them.
Mourning the death of a past-self presents a new kind of heartbreak.
You may be perfectly okay with “status-quo upset” because dissolving the source of your agitation is way too overwhelming.
Why does optimism work for me?
I like to move forward. I like to keep going.
Attachment smothers development.
My point of view, my feelings change every day. Optimism complements the second-guessing that helps me appreciate what’s in front of me. It moves me along, heartbreak and all.
If you want to explore, experiment, and learn, you have a better chance of encountering harmonious experiences if you’re not consumed with everything that appears to be wrong from your limited perspective.
When you suffer, use the pain to expand your perception of being human.
Suffering without transformation is stale.
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