We have the choice. We can choose to live in fear or we can choose to live in love. We can choose to believe the best — of ourselves, of others, of life. Fear is a choice to believe the worst. To believe for the best is to choose to believe that there is a Higher Power who responds to our positive attitudes and actions. This is not to discount the pain, sorrow, and disappointment that come with life. But we can choose to move beyond a limiting and fearful view of how life works and learn to practice the kind of optimism that opens the doors of opportunity, change, and blessing.
Optimism is a choice that changes your trajectory. I have found that if you fear the worst, you create what you expect. You make choices out of fear and limit your options. But what would happen if you made choices on the assumption that things would work out? What would life be like if you decided that God was truly interested in helping you, and that difficult people and situations were heaven-sent lessons that could lead to greater personal growth and a better life? Would you like to have the kind of faith that chooses love over fear?
I have found that practical optimism helps grease the wheels of life, releasing energy for growth and change. I have wasted too much energy on fearing what could happen (which never did happen). When really tough things have come along in my life — the things I most dreaded — I discovered that I was cared for and led along step by step. Even when I was facing the death of a loved one, I found that the great loss was tempered by hope, faith, and the love of others who shared my loss. Most of the imagined fears that once drained my energy now seem small and meaningless in light of the larger issues of life. So now I have become more daring, willing to take risks and gamble that love will win over fear every time.
The next time you hear some crazed politician stir up irrational fears or demonize others, stop and think. Is this the attitude and energy you want to bring to your life? Do you want to be manipulated through your fears and anger? Or do you want to be empowered, loving your life and loving others, believing the best instead of the worst. Let 2016 be the year you choose to cultivate your highest vision and live your deepest truth.