I was taking a midnight snooze on the couch, after a riveting hour of crime investigation television. An ear-shattering noise awoke me out of my peaceful sleep. My eyes popped open, wide as saucers. I felt my heart racing. What was that? A firecracker? An explosion?
I leaped off the couch and found my husband, Antoine, in the kitchen with a small smile on his face. He explained to me the glass baking pan had exploded in the oven. Oh yeah. I smiled sheepishly and apologized for falling asleep. It had been in there for almost two hours and cracked under the 450-degree heat.
“You’re safe, the kids are safe. It’s all good.” That small, sweet smile returned. There was no snide comment, no scolding, and no argument. He was unfazed, and I felt so blessed to have a partner whose perspective matched mine.
I am a glass-half-full kind of girl and my positivity seems to sometimes irk people. I’ve been told that my “energy is exhausting,” I’m living in fantasy land and that my rose-tinted viewpoint is annoying. These comments are few and far between, though, and I take them with a grain of salt. I may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but most people feed off my energy and love being around me. When I’m hyper about something or grinning from ear to ear, it’s infectious, and those (who are receptive) can’t help but be in a good mood.
This doesn’t mean that I ignore life’s challenges. Instead, I approach them with an optimistic view. I’ve had setbacks in my life, but I always end up on top because of my positive outlook. One of my biggest wins in life was meeting my husband, who vibrates on the same emotional frequency as me. When I met Antoine, I knew I had met my perfect match; we point out the silver linings when those around us focus on clouds. Here are a few of our favorite quotes that guide us through life’s stressors:
- “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.” Belief in God, divine intervention, or fate tells us that everything happens for a reason. Unfortunate situations may be building your emotional strength. Look at obstacles as moments of growth and power through.
- “Your tribe is your vibe.” Negativity is contagious. If you spend enough time with chronic complainers or gossipers, you might find yourself becoming a Debbie Downer. Thankfully, positivity is contagious, too. Surround yourself with people who look on the bright side of things, and you will begin to, as well.
- “Have an attitude of gratitude.” Every day, express thankfulness and appreciation for what you have. Whether it’s through prayer, journaling, meditation or self-talk, it’s important to acknowledge the positive things in your life. Gratitude changes your perspective and helps you focus on what’s really important.
- “Your triumph is your testimony.” I’ve lost my father, who I love dearly. Instead of being angry that he died too soon, I focus on the years I had with him and smile about how much I’m like him. I have emotionally eaten until I was no longer overweight; I was morbidly obese. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, I lost almost one hundred pounds and kept the weight off for fifteen years. I’ve experienced abuse by the hands of someone who said he loved me. Instead of giving up on love, I was able to recognize my own worth and found the man of my dreams. I use all of these personal stories to inspire others to find the light in the darkness. My triumph is, indeed my testimony. When you’ve emerged through dark situations, share your story. You never know who you may be inspiring.
Last week, our eight-year-old daughter Reya was bummed out because she didn’t win a child modeling competition. She pouted for a few minutes and then said, “You know what? It doesn’t make sense to be upset. I did my best and that’s all that matters!” She went on and on about how happy she was to be a part of the fashion show, pointing out that a lot of children her age probably didn’t get that experience. Reya ended the conversation by saying how grateful she is to have clothes to wear and asked if we could donate more to those in need.
Happy tears welled up in my eyes. I didn’t have to find the cure to her sadness; she found it herself. The attitude of gratitude is what Antoine and I want to instill in both of our children. Hearing this from Reya made me realize that we were raising an optimist. Her infant brother, Maxwell, will undoubtedly learn from his big sister and, that thought alone, makes my heart swell.
We need more good people in the world and I will confidently say that I have added two quality humans to this earth. Our little tribe is full of proud optimists. When trials come our way, we triumph because of our viewpoint. Life isn’t perfect, but we are so grateful for all of the blessings and, most of all, thankful for each other. My tribe is my vibe and we are grooving through life with huge smiles on our faces.