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The self-taught optimist

When I was just 7 years old, I was sure: I was going to be a teacher. I have refined that image that I had of myself in front of the classroom while children stared at me with curious eyes to the image of a loving teacher who did everything in her power to give the children a year with basic lessons to approach life positively.

Ultimately, reality pierced through this wish, a disillusion that even made me sick because I didn't want to believe it at first. I was not allowed to give the children lessons that would enable them to approach life positively, I had to teach them what was in the method books and ensure that the answers to the test were clear to them. The rest didn't matter and made me put out more fires than teaching social skills. I found it frustrating.

That was the first time that I decided I would do things differently with my own children. I teach my children basic lessons to enter life positively. I believe that if you enter something positive you can only get something positive out, no matter how negative the situation is. An exercise that I have not always mastered myself for sure. But I practice. I practice sitting next to them when they have a tantrum, giving words to new feelings that are very difficult to articulate when you only have a vocabulary of 600 words.

I also practice by telling my son that you always have a choice in how you feel. Are you mad? Fine, be angry, let me know. But anger doesn't necessarily mean breaking, hurting and arguing. You have a choice in this. This is a step within the circle of influence process. What life happens to you, you cannot change that. How you deal with it is your own choice.

I also had to learn this (and still do) by going to therapy. First I went to a haptotherapist and discovered that being creative helped me in dealing with life. I hadn't touched a pencil in 9 years after an incident with my art teacher, (a cliché of a catastrophe; I had to make a drawing with perspective, but I had never heard the word so when I did my best to draw a house - because my neighbor did it too - I was laughed at by the teacher) but I registered at an art coaching class and had the best 4 years of my life. That is still my best study time ever. At that time my idea about what I had to do in this life also changed. I no longer had the idea that I was here to teach, but to support people to find the positive in life, despite everything. That also meant that I had to find my own positivity in my life.

I became a self-taught optimist, I decided. And if the glass seemed to be half empty, I just pretended to live the half full glass life until it turned out to be the same.

To learn about optismism I looked for tricks and tips around me. I tried everything; drawing a sun every day immediately after waking up and learning more about body positivity, creating mood boards for above your workplace and mindful coloring mandalas, doing yoga and painting blind.

After giving birth to my dayghter, I realized that hormones could cause such a setback. During my maternity week I came to realize that hormones can undermine my life attitude so much that I am no longer myself. Depressive thoughts were always lurking, but thanks to the hormones, they finished every sentence with a dark twist. I needed a new tool to live the half full glass life I wanted for myself.

Since I had already learned that setting a goal could help me, I started doing that. I wrote all the tricks I new in a list. Yoga, drawing, writing, seeing people, baking cake…

What I did wasn’t important, I wanted to continue to see life with positivity. I don't seem to have that by nature. I even have something in me that I have consciously separated from Who I Am that is looking for evidence that life punishes me for the error I am (like a split personality). When I feel that I am not a mistake, but a part that can connect to The Source (or Universe, or God, I don’t stuck on the name), I experience positivity and if I experience positivity, I can more easily connect with the Source. (See the circle here?) And even if I don't feel connected or feel positive, I can pretend to make sure I feel it again. The Fake It Till You Make It Method. Something that suits me very much as a self-taught optimist.

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