Monday, June 8, 2009

I Don't Want to Turn Off the Light

While I was getting ready for church yesterday, I had BYU-TV on and was listening to a talk by Elder Claudio R. M. Costa (of the Presidency of the Seventy). It was a great talk and he has a cute sense of humor (that I noticed didn't come out much in the transcript). If you'd like to read it all go here .
One thing that he said really struck me:


"Do you know the difference between a pessimist and an optimist? The optimist is the person who can always see a light at the end of the tunnel. The pessimist is the person who turns off the light."


I don't want to be the kind of person who turns a light off, but as soon as I heard that, I knew that I did just that this past week. I was talking to some friends and was pretty negative. I am generally very grateful for all my amazing blessings and try to stay optimistic and positive. But this time, I was just feeing tired of so many people assuming that I'm always okay and that I have no real problems. People often tell me that I have a great life and if I mention anything I'm struggling with, they tell me that I should be happy that I don't have their problems. I was tired of being treated like I have no right to feeling discouraged or unsure about our economic future or anything else. So I vented a little. I had thought that it would make me feel better to let out some of my feelings, but it didn't. It actually had the opposite effect on me. I felt like I was just complaining and whining and ungrateful to my Heavenly Father.

I don't see anything wrong with sharing your feelings with others and having friends support you in your struggles, but I felt like the way I did it was just complaining. We all know someone who is almost always negative and complaining and is a drain to be around. We also know optimistic people who are always smiling and not whining, no matter how hard their trials are. I definitely want to be more like the latter. So I'm going to keep this quote in my head and stop myself from turning off the light. I am going to follow the example of so many wonderful people I know. Of the woman in my old ward who whenever she had big health problems, she would say, "That's just part of this life. I will be better in the next life." Or the couple in our ward who just lost their baby and got up and shared their testimony at her funeral. Or a patient woman who I visit teach whose baby is in the hospital again and needs a lung transplant and she never complains. I want to be able to not only see the light at the end of the tunnel, but to make a light if I can't see one.

4 comments:

  1. I know exactly what you mean. While I may not have anything major or drastic going on, that doesn't mean I don't struggle, and often struggle secretly with many things. But like you, I don't want to impose that on someone else and have them thinking, "oh please, you have it so easy, what are you complaining about!"
    I find great joy and fulfillment in making people laugh. I always hope that I can.
    Thanks for your great thoughts.

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  2. What a great post! I love what that woman said in your ward about her health problems...that she will be better in the next life. I'll try to remember that :)

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  3. Your pondering always leaves me pondering. Thanks.

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  4. Thanks for the good reminder (: I love reading your blog!

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