Never underestimate the power of positivity aka the bright side.
We’ve all heard the phrase making lemonade out of lemons. It’s easier to drink when things are going right in your life than to swallow when they are not. Sometimes we feel like we’re hitting a brick wall that we keep trying to break through with little success. I found that by choosing to be determined and seeing the bright side no matter how tough or foreign it feels, you will indeed find not only the sun but a rainbow.
I grew up in a household with polar opposite viewpoints being thrown at me like darts at the local bar. My father was handicapped and a survivor of a very severe motorcycle accident. He lived in constant pain and it was more than he could handle most days. I didn’t understand his temperament then but as I got older I wondered how he even smiled at all.
My mother had a terminal illness with discomfort and a lot of embarrassing side effects. She constantly was “crapping her pants” as we referred to it, and trying to make light and find the “joke” in it all. I never really realized how her humor and choices of handling things conditioned me to have the thick skin I do.
My father would often refer to my mother as “living in la la land” and “seeing the world through Rose colored glasses”… He would say it out of frustration because she didn’t always live in reality. She was very sick and that was how she coped.
Every day we face challenges where we can either be the “Profit of Gloom” or wear the glasses my mom so proudly sported. Every day we have the choice to spin something negatively or positively.
Don’t get me wrong it’s important to vent and to tell a friend when something happened that hurt you. Dump that shit as fast as possible. Try and do it in a fun, funny way, where you’re not discarding it on your friend though. Keep it short, keep it sweet and to the point. My “Golden Rule” is to tell one person. No need to go air that dirty laundry infecting everyone’s day.
A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to meet someone that I’ve been trying to do business with for years, 20 to be exact. I confided in a colleague and asked the best time to speak with them.
They were in town on a business opportunity so I waited just like I have for many events at the hotel center bar. Oh, can I tell you the things I’ve seen at the hotel center bars? Fights from television shows being created to people being proposed to, to those being served papers, to pro wrestlers giving a chair shot to an unlikely patron with a bar stool. I’ve seen it all.
This time around I would watch my proposition at a distance waiting for the right time. I never want to force myself on someone. You should always read the room and feel the temperature before dipping that proverbial toe in the water.
After waiting 5 hours I decided it was time to go home and get some sleep. My colleague invited me the following day to try again so I did.
I kept a positive spirit about me with a dash of realism and waited again at the hotel bar. Several hours passed when the person of interest entered the room. I stood up and said, “I’ve been waiting 20 years to talk to you and I would just love a couple of minutes of your time.” I said it with a smile and with vibrant energy. They half fake smiled and looked away.
My 20-year prospect sat right across the seat from me speaking to somebody else for a hot minute. When there was a break I made eye contact and said, “I really would love just to talk to you for a second! I’m so excited to show you something!” They said nothing but they definitely heard me.
I waited another 30 minutes with yet another colleague, letting them in and on my secret. I was waiting to talk to their boss. We had a lovely conversation and I learned something new about someone in our business. I made eye contact with my person of interest and he literally looked me in the face, stood up, grabbed his friend, and said “let’s get out here” as they walked away. It was like I didn’t exist and they knew exactly who I was. They know I was waiting now for two days in a row just for a few minutes of time.
It felt like a sword went through my heart because that is about as pure of rejection as it comes ladies and gentlemen. This was personal. There was nothing to hide behind. They didn’t want to give me even an acknowledgment I was human. The colleague sitting next to me said maybe they didn’t see you or maybe they didn’t know what you wanted. A sweet possibility but a wrong one. This colleague was trying to see the bright side! The pessimist in me or should I say the realist in me knew exactly what just went down.
I shift then to the colored glasses. Only mine aren’t necessarily rosy, but rather my own shade that I’ve created over the years to cope but also to move forward with optimism. You see I don’t ever beg someone for love. Whether it be a partner, a friend, a bandmate, a venue, or someone to work with. Never. I’ll give it a college and try and come sit for a total of 12 hours at the center bar but after that, I’m not begging for squat. You can still see things on the bright side without being stupid.
I shift back to the colleague sitting with me. I choked and a few tears were shed because I’m human and I celebrated that. I thanked the person I was with as they sat with me at a very vulnerable time. This person displayed so much heart and so much kindness. They mentioned that in 6 months they’ve only had one, one on one with their boss. They explained how it’s been a long week and maybe he just wasn’t on his game. They didn’t make excuses for him but rather did everything they could to comfort me and make me feel good.
At that moment I could feel God working. I thought how lucky I am at that moment to be sitting with somebody so freaking kind who would pick me up when I literally lost my breath. THAT is the win of the night. We exchanged quick words about our beliefs and I moved on to another colleague who grabbed me by the hand to discuss some business.
We sat at a long glass table and talked. I couldn’t help but notice my defeated reflection looking back at me when I looked down. He asked if I talked to “The Boss” and I briefly just said, “I don’t think this is the place for me.” I didn’t go into the play-by-play but just gave a brief synopsis. Again this colleague had so much kind advice. He had so many positive words that I felt as though I left that sword that pierced me moments ago back on the couch at the center bar. I was almost free of it because of the rays of sunshine being cast on me by these two angels.
I may have had massive rejection smacking me straight across the face, but I had not one but two severely kind men offering such words of greatness that I considered my 12 hours of invested time a success.
That’s what I mean by looking for the bright side. Some divine favor was being done to me by being rejected. It wasn’t the right place for me. You’ve got to see it that way because your higher power does protect you and has a plan for you if you choose to look at it that way.
I will always remember those two men and the pep talk they gave me post bitch slap. The first colleague even came back and gave me this Buddhist sticker plaque. It was his way of offering comfort. I’m not Buddhist, I’m Christian, but I see things on the bright side. And the bright side tells me these days, that you need as many blessings as you can flippin get.
Carpe Diem. Long live the bright side.