Education Article: It's A Wonderful Life!
I was recently watching television and the movie "It's a wonderful life" with Jimmy Stewart came on television yet again. We have all seen the movie and watched the trials, tribuations, joys, sorrows and angst that the characters in the movie each face. Each of us has had to face our own unique stressors and life pressures and some of us cope with these things better than others. What makes some of us believe, "Life sucks and then you die" and others believe "It's a wonderful life"? Can we find positive meaning and joy in situations that others may fear, loathe, misunderstand and are overcome by them? What is the real difference between the first positive group and the second negative group of people? There are hundreds of explanations for these differences and each probably has some kernal of truth to it.
I believe that we, ourselves, make the difference between a positive outlook and a negative outlook. It costs no more to be positive than it costs to be negative. Do you want to pay the high price of the negative outlook? There certainly are some people who do because it is all that they have ever known or shall know. It is a matter of choice and it takes effort to take the positive view in all the situations that we encounter in life. I have committed myself to taking the high positive road and not the low negative road. At first it seems difficult to do so, but over time, it becomes easier and easier to do so. Being happy or unhappy is a decision for most of us. That does not mean that things can occur that are negative or unfavorable for us. But again, our reactions are controlled by the decision that we make about how to handle these situations. There is a saying, "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade". I like that saying alot and use it alot in my own life.
In therapy, we can work together to construct the positive reality that you are seeking. Do we have to "go down with the ship" each time we encounter a challenge which actually is a possibility? I believe that we dwell in possibility and not in some sort of genetically pre-determined existance that cannot be altered or changed. All it really takes is hope, consideration, a decision, follow through and a willingness to continue to try and to not accept defeat if we do not get what we want. You can learn and grow and work to create the life that you are seeking and dreaming about. Yes, it is a wonderful life!!!
Dr. John Garlock