Looking Through Positive Lens

Hi there!  How was everyone’s weekend?!  Good I hope!  Mine was pretty uneventful, and it was really nice.  It seems as though the past month or so has just been go go go, so it was a relief to have nothing on the calendar for this weekend.

“Looking for the positive” – it has definitely been something I have been working on lately.  I’ve always been pretty optimistic about life and everything that comes along with it.  Sometimes life is tough, but I’ve always seemed to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Nothing has changed.  I’m still the bubbly, happy, positive Ashley I’ve always been.  However, it seems as I get older, it’s not always as easy as it used to be.  You have to deal with bigger things, bigger decisions, bigger “what ifs”.

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There’s been some “stuff” in my life lately that has really challenged me to look for the positive.  Sometimes I wonder why in the world it should be so hard.  Why can’t God just spell out the answer or the direction for me?  I suppose it isn’t that easy though, is it?  I have realized in all of this that God is working on me.  Through the decisions, the struggles, the hardships, God is teaching me new things, challenging me in ways I never would’ve thought, and helping me make a difference in other people’s lives.

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I notice that I’m happier and healthier when I’m approaching things with a positive attitude.  Life isn’t always going to be easy, but when we look at it through positive lens, we’re going to see a whole new perspective on life.

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[P.S. 3 hardest “P” words ever]

I encourage you today, right now, to shift your attitude on the day, the week, the month, this phase in your life, whatever it may be.  Look at things through those positive lens.  What do you see?

Questions:

  • Would you consider yourself more optimistic or pessimistic?
  • Are there any challenges that you’re facing right now that make it difficult to look for the positive?

(Click on photos for original source)

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Comments

  1. says

    Love this post!!! I try to be as positive as I can be but that doesn’t always happen! This post is a great reminder of how to look on the positive side!

  2. says

    Ash – i totally agree with this post 100%!!!! When i look back to when i was in school, i stressed about tests and homework, that was nothing compared to the stress we face now as ‘adults’ and i never thought life could be THIS hard. Just remember, these challenges are going to make you a better person AND we will both look back and forget how stressful it was some day because life will show its blessings :) xoxo

  3. says

    What a beautiful way to put it. I think lately I have been stuck in this negative mindset and forget the larger things in life. I am have a loving family that watches out for me and a life that many don’t have. I think a lot of my struggles are hard to see the positive in but I am working on it. You are so strong and I see how hard you work!

  4. says

    Ahhh I wish I knew what was ahead, especially with the summer closing in and people constantly asking what I’m going to do next year or WHERE I’m going to be! I have to make that decision in February so I can sign up for the bar exam in the right state… ahhhh. But I definitely need to stay positive today, this week, and for the next 3 weeks. I have 3 weeks left in my internship and it’s wearing on me a bit! I’m getting antsy to be done but I need to be more positive about each day!

  5. says

    I am the same as you, always been a optimistic person but lately a few challenges have gotten my down. I am trying very hard to still always be positive but often it does get to me. I just keep telling myself that everything happens for a reason and this is just part of the plan :)

  6. says

    I used to be a very pessimistic person when it came to everything in life. As I got older and wiser, I realized that life isn’t that bad and if I have a positive attitude about this, life has this funny way of working itself out. Try to stay positive Ashley!

  7. says

    I believe that I am a very optimistic person. People always say “You’re always smiling” and “I’ve never seen you not happy”. It is a little hard right now. I was recently diagnosed with a disease called Alopecia Areata (so I’m rapidly balding) and I haven’t ran since May 20 because I broke my foot…..trying to stay as positive as possible though:-)

    • says

      Wow Laura hang in there. I remember when a sister was diagnosed with alopecia and how hard that was on her emotionally. She is lucky that it was partial (although noticeable loss – she actually noticed her eye lashes first) and then it seems to have mostly grown back.

      • says

        Really? Your sister had it? I think it’s weird that she lost her eyelashes…I have lost over 50% on my head and it shows no signs of stopping…..

        • says

          Yes, I know there are several versions (and reasons) of alopecia. I think hers was determined to be more auto-immune. It was crazy because she noticed the lashes first and then it really started in all the lower hairline. She never lost as much as you although I think she lost all her eyelashes.

          Watching what she went through and no real “reason or cure” was very stressful and I can only imagine how it is for you right now.

          • says

            Mine is auto-immune as well. I have “areata” which means it falls out in patches.

            It is frustrating and stressful, especially since I try to be so active and healthy!

            Thanks for sharing about your sister.

    • Ashley says

      laura, thank you for sharing your story. that can’t be easy, but you are so strong! hang in there girl! i have a friend that went through the same thing, and she was really down about it at first, but now she is LOVING that she can change her hairstyle in the blink of an eye with all of the fun wigs she has! it’s been amazing to see her attitude about it change through the process. keep smiling!

  8. says

    I am definitely an optimist..my hubby is more of a pessimist, lol…although he says “realist” so we balance each other out nicely! Biggest thing we are facing is where we will end up in a year after he finishes up his fellowship. Ideally, we will move back home to Upstate NY but it also depends on the job that he lands. Sometimes I wish I had a crystal ball!

  9. says

    Beautifully written, Ashley! I’m definitely a positive upbeat person. It is frustrating when we feel like we are doing the “right” thing but still experiencing turmoil/adversity/negative circumstances. However, God tells us that he lets the sun shine on the good and the evil, and he lets the rain pour on the just and the unjust. I think a lot of times He is just trying to get me to rely solely on him no matter the circumstances.

    I’m glad you got to chill this weekend! Love ya!

  10. says

    I try to be as optimistic as possible, but sometimes my high levels of anxiety create a more pessimistic outlook. I honestly never really thought of my overall outlook as either optimistic or pessimistic – but now you’ve got me analyzing a little bit for sure.
    Being a teacher in an inner city and knowing what kinds of lives some of my students go through – and some of violence that occurs right on their door step every day can be heartbreaking and bubble bursting – sometimes creating a pessimistic vision. But – in reality – I am there to bring the optimism, hope, and overall positive outlook that all dreams are possible – and everything has a way of falling into place .

    • Ashley says

      you are in such a great position to make a huge impact in those kids’ lives cait! that is so neat. :)

  11. says

    I try really hard to be optimistic. I would say I become apathetic before pessimistic (that is a REALLY bad day once the harsh negative self-talk comes out). So many challenges I wouldn’t even know where to begin. What I am really working on right now is: OK, life isn’t remotely what it was suppose to be for me, but what are all my blessing then in how it turned out?

    Turns out a lot of my life is good, just not what I envisioned.

    Cute dress yesterday by the way.

  12. says

    I will call myself more of an optimist these days. I’ve def experienced my share of dark days, when I let all the negative and ego-crushing thoughts consume me. What helped me and continues to encourage me is dwelling on the fact that life on this earth is temporary. I want to make the most out of everything that God graciously entrusted to me. You’re beautiful, Ashley! You’ve actually helped me through some of those painful days, and I thank you..

    • Ashley says

      you are absolutely right min! these days on earth ARE temporary and even more, they are an amazing gift from God, so we need to live to our full potential!

  13. says

    What a great reminder .. especially for a Monday! I find myself USUALLY being optimistic, but sometimes I catch myself saying and thinking pessimistic things, which is only natural from time to time. Keeping a gratitude journal is a really important reminder of how lucky most of us really are.

  14. says

    I was so excited when I saw the title of this post pop up in my reader. Being positive is something I’m trying SO hard to improve at lately. Plus, my husband is Mr. Sunshine and sees EVERYTHING in a positive light. It’s wearing off on me a little bit, but I’m naturally very pessimistic.

    • Ashley says

      haha my husband is definitely mr. sunshine too. we’re both pretty optimistic, but he is probably one of those most optimistic people i’ve ever met. it sure is refreshing to have him around!

  15. says

    I try to be more optimistic than pessimistic, but of course no one can be positive 100% of the time. When I realize I’m being pessimisitc about something, I try to remind myself how good I have it in the big scheme of things!

  16. says

    I definitely grew up with a pessimistic attitude – I always thought about what could go wrong, what needed to be fixed…very glass half-empty sort of view.

    A year or two ago I made it my mission to try and look at the bright side of things, and now I’m finding I’m enjoying life so much more! I’m a lot more open to new experiences, more likely to speak my mind, and just overall more satisfied with my daily choices in life :-)

    Such a good topic!

  17. says

    Great post Ashley!
    I am always working on becoming a better person and being positive is part of that. I work really hard to remain positive throughout all things in my life.
    I even bring a notebook with positive affirmations and mantras with me so that when negative thoughts enter my mind, I can read something positive and change my thought process by repeating the positive ones.
    Its not something I remember to do all the time, but I’m getting there.
    You are such a beautiful person and strong!xox

  18. says

    I love this! I try to be optimistic, but sometimes life situations can make me more of a pessimist. Life decisions and problems get harder as you get older, and it is tough!!! There are definitely life situations right now that make it hard to see the positive, but I know that God is in control of those situations and it makes it a lot easier! Love you. You are such a strong and inspirational woman!

  19. says

    I agree with you that it always helps to look on the bright side of things because it is generally more satisfying that way, but as life decisions get bigger/harder….well its tough to keep that same perspective

  20. says

    Hey, just wanted to say that I love this post! For the longest time I was a pessimist, but since discovering Buddhism a little over a year ago, I’ve become a much more positive person. I’m coming to find the good in even the most difficult of situations…which makes making difficult decisions a little bit easier! Lately, times have been a little tough (switching college majors, trying to lease out my college apartment, body image issues, et cetera…), so positivity is absolutely necessary! Otherwise, I feel totally dragged down in the dumps…which is no fun at all!

    By the way, I nominated your blog for the “Inspiring Blog Award!” You really deserve it…I love reading your posts :) (http://healthykitschyvegan.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/mindful-monday-the-future-is-completely-open/)

  21. says

    I LOVE this post! I’ve had a hard time being positive, but learning to trust God and his plan for me, as well as embracing the present moment has really helped. Thanks for the reminder!
    xoxo

  22. says

    I definitely try to be positive but it is hard at times. Having a husband who deploys for 9 months at a time leaves me in stressful situations making it hard to stay positive. But I try my best for my babies!

  23. says

    I definitely struggle with being positive a lot of the time. I usually do well finding positive things in regards to other people or events, but I’m so critical of myself. :-( Thanks for a great post–I’m going to bookmark this so I can come back to it on days that I’m struggling.

  24. says

    I work in mental health and one of the posters I keep in my office says “If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” Its amazing what a difference changing your perspective can make. One of my other favorite quotes? “Want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.” Sometimes there are questions we’ll just never have the answer to and that’s ok!

  25. says

    There was a great lesson in this post! Thanks for the reminder that life doesn’t always go our waybut that doesn’t mean we should give up and be negative nellies!!

  26. says

    Hi Ashley! I’m new to your blog, but I’ve seen several links to this … I just had to check it out! I’m so glad I did. What a fantastic post :) I think I’m usually an optimist. But you’re right. Things are sucky sometimes and it’s easy to get a less than positive atttitude. Thanks for the lovely reminder!

  27. says

    I love this post! I especially love the 3 “P’s”! I definitely need to work on those more, because I always struggle with them! :) Thanks!

  28. says

    Positive is KEY! You have a beautiful outlook love and will get through any tough times if you keep it that way <3 Thinking of you!

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