Optimism is life's umbrella

CHOICE: Faced with options, we have to make the choice, trusting in our instincts.
CHOICE: Faced with options, we have to make the choice, trusting in our instincts.

Life is all about decision and choice; moments of confusion and moments of clarity that contribute to the rich tapestry of our existence. There will always be things that we could have done better, things that we should be doing better and the prospect of better things ahead.

Nobody gets it all right all of the time. The best we can hope for is a personal acceptance and understanding of our own shortcomings and failings and an honest determination to avoid repeating mistakes. That takes effort. We are fortunate indeed if we can find someone to help shoulder the burden.

Essentially, however, survival is a lone quest and responsibility rests with the individual. There will always be setbacks. There's no way to go through life and avoid disappointment and tragedy. Those supports we relied on can suddenly vanish. We're left to call on our own resources. Faced with options, we have to make the choice, trusting in our instincts.

That's where an optimistic attitude can be invaluable. The dictionary tells us that optimism is "a disposition or tendency to look on the more favourable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favourable outcome.''

It's also a belief that good ultimately wins out over evil.

It's not a matter of living in ignorance. It's more the knowledge that what is happening in the here and now is just a part of the puzzle, not the whole picture.

Whatever happens today is just another paragraph in our life's tale - it's not the full story. Every day brings with it the opportunity to reimagine and recreate the picture as it unfolds; to find new words and new direction.

Optimism is the umbrella we carry with us to help shield our minds, hearts and souls from the storms of life.

The choice is ours.


Accept the fact that change is not easy. Moving from one place to another - whether physically or mentally - can be quite difficult.

The gap that separates us from where we are and where we would prefer to be can be threatening.

Draw comfort and inspiration from the gap that separates us from where we were to where we are now.

Change has brought us to this point in time. Courage and determination will get us to the tomorrow that awaits.

There is strength within.

Gary Bentley is a counsellor with Rural Aid