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Turning negative into “PoZitive”

“I exchanged my weapon for a pen, my battlefield for a blank page.”

…those were the words of a juvenile convict at LA Juvenile Hall.

I remember reading the news on Yahoo and this title just caught sight of my eyes.

Talk about turning negative experience into positive ones, into life lessons! I believe this is an art that requires determination, strength and clarity.

How much trouble we would save ourselves of if only we’d learn to look at each problem with a student’s eye.

I remember reading about Thomas Edison and his well known “bulb experiments”. Can you imagine it took him about 1 000 experiments to invent the electrical bulb? That’s 1 000 failures; perhaps 1 000 times more criticism and negative influence from his peers.

There’s a story that says that short before reaching his dream, one of Edison’s experiments resulted in a serious explosion in his study. At this point, his buddy in study puzzled by Edison’s strong will to continue his work despite the disaster, asked him how many failures and disasters would it take till he finally decides to quit. Edison responded that to him the explosion was no disaster. That he had just learned how to produce a big explosion that he could surely use this in his work later on.

What do you think? A man with such a huge vision, faith, courage and determination.

What did he do? Instead of quitting 10 000 times, he decided he would learn something from each failure. He actually had all the failures work for him.

I’ll give you another example.

When asked in an interview how he had coped with the pain and suffering of being imprisoned for 27 years, Mr. Nelson Mandela answered that to his that was no suffering. That was preparation. Preparation to fulfill the dream he had for his people.

Lately, I’ve been reading stories about successful people. What I noticed was that most of them became successful after having had a really life changing experience, after they have fallen really low either financially, emotionally or any other way. That somehow represented the starting point in the success.

I too had hit rock bottom when my baby boy died. I felt disintegrated; like pieces of me were scattered all over. My world just ended. I was trapped for a long time in the “Whyyyy Goood? Why did you do this to me?” trap.

Then, I started thinking that my life had to be more than this. So, little by little I started picking each piece of myself; looked at it and decided if I wanted back in this new person I was building.

It was a tremendous experience. Really tough. It took me many painful years to reconstruct myself, but I was determined to get myself out of the dark. I offered myself no choice but to move forward. And boy, that served me well. It was incredibly painful, but it was the experience I learned the most about myself, about life and not only – I learned about real friendship, about family, about people in general.

What I got in the end was someone with a broader vision on life, much less superficial; a person who appreciates each day and tries to get as much from it; someone with a great desire to contribute and help other people; someone dedicated to her growth and willing to help other grow.

So, I guess what they say that suffering shapes a personality is true. I don’t know if it’s the only way to reach balance, wisdom, to understand the true meaningful things, to understand the meaning of life and to appreciate it. It’s the hard way for sure. But from what I’ve read, heard and lived, the result is worth it.

It’s a bumpy road, but once the gates of Nirvana open, you appreciate every rock hit on the way and thank for every bruise. You feel your soul transforming; your heart melts and your mind opens to receive the beauty and light.

Funny thing, is you realize you have been there before, but never really observed all the flowers, green grass, never smelled the clean air, haven’t heard the cheerful birds singing. And you wonder:  “How come? What made me so blind that I have not seen this before?”

The answer is: YOU.

You have been too busy noticing the ugly part of the garden and complaining about it.

The power is in us. We choose to see the clouds as grey, scary masses of steam and icy water or as God’s pieces of art.

But, when you’re as low as you can be, there’s nothing else to observe, there’s no place to go. So, you can choose to stay there or start climbing back up. Now, the way you set your journey up makes the difference. You may plan to complain and cry about every rock that hits you, or you may plan to learn from each of them.

When you reach the top you can be just a tired, valueless and trashy looking person, or you can sparkle behind the wrecked clothes and bruises and you can gladly share your experience and have others learn from it.

It’s a matter of choice; better yet – a matter of mind set. Cause it’s not the conditions of our lives that shape our future and personalities, it’s the decisions we make.

So, for all you oysters out there – don’t just wait for others to decide when and how you should be served of a fancy dinner platter.

Look inside. There’s a small pearl there waiting to come out. Let the sand gently shape it and the tears polish it. And one day you’ll be able to proudly present it shiny and beautiful to the world, just to touch other souls.

My friends, there is a light in every dark; there is white in every grey. You can find it if you’re committed to this.

Live each day to it’s fullest!

Posted by Roxana on Apr.18 2015

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PoZitivistas photos by Lia Nichifor