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June 23, 2017

How I Broke the Curse of the Optimist.

I’ve been cursed.

I don’t know when it happened, who cursed me, or how I came to be under this evil spell, but here I am—cursed with an overly-optimistic view of the world.

Admittedly, I’ll say that this curse is a blessing as well, but perhaps that’s just my optimism speaking again.

I’ve come to know I have a innate capability to have a seriously critical eye. I could spot a flaw from a mile away as long as I was looking in the right direction, and there has rarely been a time when I wasn’t.

I’ve been known for my all-knowing, realistic, and critically perceptive ability. With this gift, blessing, curse—however it may be viewed—comes a brilliant mind that so strongly sees the utmost potential in every situation, person, and place that comes into my life. I peer through the initially critical and dive straight into the joy, love, and beauty lying beneath the first layer of discernment.

This has taken me into some fairly tricky situations. When I act from this place of magnificent optimism, I often make decisions and choices on the potential rather than the reality of the given situation.

I’ll use my romantic relationships as an example.

I’ll meet a man. He seems great. He is great. Our connection is great! I’ll use the first few dates or months to analyze the realistic depiction of what this man and our connection is all about.

At the same time, my overly-optimistic self subtly erases all the reality of how this person is a complex human with hurts and wounds I haven’t yet gotten to know yet. My optimism slowly takes on more weight than the truth of this person and the connection I have with them.

Soon, all I see is the pure love and beauty that resides deep within the cavities of their chest. I love this feeling. I love that I can see the loving nature in a person whether they openly show it or not.

But this is not the most useful skill when it comes to creating the genuine relationships I truly desire. I see through all the dark, brooding energy that this person is trying to break free of, I see the truth of who they are on a soul level. But this leaves me with an unrealistic perception of what their capabilities are in, regards to connecting with me in this moment in a deep way.

I’ve ignored or downplayed the reality that they can’t connect with me in this way, simply because I see their potential and even their desire to do so. “It’ll come, it’ll happen, be patient.” I’ve spoken these words to myself so many times over relationship quandaries.

After years of following my optimistic view, I’m beginning to see how I need to find new ways of seeing the world. Perhaps it’s time to take a more realistic approach with the matters at hand. I’m learning how to keep my optimism alive while also looking at things with a deeper sense of reality in the moment. No more making decisions based on how things could be.

Now, I choose to make decisions based on how things actually are in the moment. This helps me make healthier decisions in life and love. Decisions based on reality rather than my projection of the reality I’d like to see.

This gift of overflowing optimism helped me tremendously in moving ahead in life with my biggest dreams. I have what someone once called an “untethered optimism surrounded by extraordinary confidence with a hint of skepticism.”

It’s the untethered optimism combined with extraordinary confidence that has driven me to open an organic grocery store with no money in my bank account, open a community space for collaborative connections, travel around the world whenever I’m called to do so, live in the home of my dreams for the past five years, write a book of poetry, as well as do many other things my heart urged me to do over the last decade or so.

The tiny little bit of skeptic that lives inside of me made many of these things successful, as it keeps me grounded and realistic to a certain extent—just enough to not hold me back but still keep me connected to reality. Everyone talks about finding balance in life these days, and this is one of the ways I practice balance: by combining the forces of fantastical dreams with earthly reality.

If all of us were willing to take these leaps of faith into following our dreams, rather than slugging away at jobs or in places that limit our true potential, the world at large would move swiftly into the reality of harmony and shared prosperity. This is the key to the peaceful world so many of us dream of being a part of.

“Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” ~ Jill Jackson and Sy Miller

The above quote represents the way I have tried to live my life once I came to the realization that world peace wasn’t going to happen on its own. World peace is something I truly believe is only achievable through a positive view and direct action of the most loving kind—action led from each individual heart. When I have chosen to follow my heart, I have always found myself in the most beautiful places.

When I view things negatively, the outcome is consistently negative. I’ve also witnessed this phenomenon in relationships. If I fear betrayal and abandonment, I can be sure that will be the experience coming my way. It’s happened time and again to the point of so much frustration, that I recently chose another way.

Although it’s been super hard facing all my inner fears and hurts, I’ve chosen to view love, connection, and romantic encounters with the same perspective I do everything else in life—one that reinforces my belief that all my dreams are attainable with the right attitude.

Whenever I feel myself swaying the other way I take a deep breath, check in with the actual reality, recognize and honour my fears, and let them go to make room for something brand new and beautiful.

Imagine we all chose to live with a positive view, one with love propelling us forward. This world would be such different place.

If I can change my own life experience based how I choose to regard each moment of my existence, surely it is possible for this to be true for everyone.

You may call me a dreamer, but I know I’m not the only one.
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Author: Morgan Leigh Callison
Image: Autumn Goodman/Unsplash
Editor: Danielle Beutell
Copy Editor: Callie Rushton
Social Editor: Yoli Zina

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