The Pessimistic Optimist

Just had to think of a nice blog post title.

I don’t know about your views, but, I know how optimistic most people can be. I see their point and how they seem so positive and that’s a nice thing – to think on the bright side.  However, they seem to put you down for not being positive like them.

You know, like, when they go saying things like ‘be happy’, and ‘you can do it‘, with this big smile on their face and give you a pat on the back and you seem to see how confident they are with their life and they seem to belittle you for not being like them.

And that’s what I sort of frown on – that dark side of optimism where people get their pride up on you.

I know, sounds like words coming from someone who’s a bit weak-willed and so downright pessimistic.

But, isn’t that what someone who’s lacking hope would feel like?

Smiling on the outside, trying to be this optimistic, normal and happy person, but on the inside, he’s being attacked by his insecurities and the traits of pessimism that perhaps, he grew up with, adapted from his surroundings, or from his lack of hope and confidence in his own.

For people like them, hearing bright words from a friend who’s confident that everything will turn out well doesn’t seem to help at all.

I know those because I’ve been there.

I’ve felt powerless and insecure.

Diffident and fearful.

And if I’d be truly honest with myself, I know I’m still there, at times, too.

And if you’d be truly honest with yourself, I’m sure you have been there, too.

So if cheering someone up with happy, bright, encouraging words wouldn’t work, then, what will?

For me, it just might be the opposite.

It’s stripping yourself of your pride and confidence.

For me, it’s letting go of your egos and the good image you’ve been protecting.

Because sometimes, we just have to be willing to be sad with someone to show that we truly care. Sometimes, we just have to cry and show how we weak we are, too.

Besides…without God, we’re all weak.

Well, the Gospel of Christ puts it this way. Christ says that it’s not positive-thinking that can ever save us.

That, it’s not hardwork, it’s not doing our best, it’s not the laughter and jokes, not the happy music, not the best moments in life that will give us what we need.

It’s Christ, and Christ alone.

Its Christ saying that you can’t do it on your own.

You can be happy, you can smile and look forward to good things with that wide grin. But, then, your puzzle is still incomplete. It’s still missing Jesus.

I don’t know if it’s just me and my melancholy, anyway, but that’s what I hold on to.

“If you’re too tired, too frustrated, and you want to give up, the truth is…we can’t save ourselves. Everything we do to try to get somewhere, to attain something might lead us somewhere but it’s all a dead end. But I know someone that leads to life, and that’s Christ. He’s the only sure thing that never fails. He accepts anyone despite their successes and failures. And I don’t think we have to try to prove anything, to try to change ourselves for him. He’s the one who changes us.”

I’m still young, and I don’t have all the answers. So what can you say about all my thoughts?  Comments help out a lot.

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6 thoughts on “The Pessimistic Optimist

  1. Brother, I’ve gotta tell you, you are manifesting a rare and powerful gifting and I am glad you are doing what you do for it is speaking powerfully to me. Amen. I always enjoy reading your pieces and just like this one, I have been uplifted. May the Almighty God continue to push you so you can continue doing this work that you do. Thanks so much bro.

  2. I can relate! My husband is very positive and I seem to think more on the negative side. What I can say is that he seems to have more positive things happen to him and I… you guessed it more negative. I do think there is power in how we think, because even Jesus said that if we believe the mountain will move, but how can we believe a mountain will move if we aren’t thinking positively? But what I do notice is that when I am negative or down I can do as you did, spend time with Christ and he does seem to change my attitude. I’ve been reading Corrie Ten Boom lately, her positive attitude is quite infectious because she gives the glory to God. Through her God is turning this pessimistic lady into more of a positive one, but not always…it doesn’t come “naturally” to me it takes work. I figure if she can live through a concentration camp and still come out positive, there is something to that. There are times for everything, tears, pain etc but joy comes in the morning. I think if we hold on to negative too long we invite Satan to creep in, but holding on to the JOY of the Lord is always our strength.

    • Thanks for sharing :-) I guess you’re right, too…especially about moving the mountains. It’s just different when you’re not used to being positive and not everyone grew up acquainted with that (as you said it doesn’t come “naturally”). What I’m trying to point out is that it has its negative side and it’s not all good. It may actually get us to be ignorant about the path we’re taking.

  3. Excellent article! There’s a fine line between being encouraging to someone and just being downright insensitive. We need to permit people to be honest about their feelings instead of making them feel guilty for feeling the way they do. True optimism extends compassion over condescention.

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