Warning: The following post is a little different than my “normal” updates, but I felt the need to share (without over sharing) because I would hope that this message might be helpful to some people going through some rough times.
Live Above the Line: This was a concept that I was exposed to near the end of September at an employee seminar with my company. Essentially, we had a discussion about various personality types and how they view the world.
The basic concept is: Do you live above the line, or below the line? or to oversimplify, are you an optimist or pessimist?
I think that if you know me, if you follow this blog, you probably have figured out that by and large, I am an optimist. However, I will admit that I get dragged below the line from time to time. And that’s ok because I think most people do get dragged under at some point or another during their lives.
According to what I was taught, the difference is if you primarily live and operate below the line, or if you live and stay above the line in your everyday life.
Those that live above the line tend to display certain traits: Happiness, Kindness, Commitment, Forgiveness, Tolerance, Love and view the world with Possibility.
Those that live below the line tend to view the world differently, they often say things like “I can’t”, “I won’t”, they are Judgmental, Sarcastic, feel Envy, hold Grudges, are Fearful, have many Doubts, and constantly Worry.
A visual I found on Google Images of this concept:
We all have moments where we feel all of these things. To be candid, this Fall, right when I was learning about this concept, I was in the depths of being below the line. I had been dragged under by somethings going on in my life and was having a hard time seeing or feeling the things that I normally do… Trouble seeing my “Wired for Optimism” view of the world… I really was in a not great place, so this message was delivered at a very key time in my life. I’ve been sitting on sharing this with you all because I wanted to:
- make sure that I really wanted to openly share that I had been struggling, and
- make sure that I was in a better place to talk about what I had learned so that I could speak with a clear mind.
Overall, we all have a choice on how we view the world. Yes, it is harder for some of us than others, and circumstances in life affect how we are able to view the world around us. I’ve been lucky that I was given the background and values from my parents to see the world as having many many possibilities for me, as being a place to explore, and to go after the things that I wanted.
When I was going through my rough patch, I found several things to be useful in helping to pull myself back up over the line and I thought I would share them with you (just in case I can help someone else, and just in case I need them as a reminder in the future):
- Stay and Be Active – Running, Biking, Hiking, anything that keeps the body moving and blood flowing (obvious answer for me).
- Talking with and spending time with Family and Friends – so many of you helped me in ways you don’t even know at this point and helped to fight the gremlins away on a daily basis.
- Reading – Books like Daring Greatly, Cold Tangerines, The In-Between, Packing Light, (yes, there was a theme here…), daily devotionals, some of my favorite running blogs, and then of course the “just for fun” books like Game of Thrones have been great as well!
- Pin Stuff on Pinterest – admittedly this probably applies to the female population, and is a bit of a waste of time, but to has been and continues to me helpful for me as a way to find new ideas and quotes to lift me up when need.
- Create something – knitting, sewing, woodworking – this Fall and Winter I have knitted a hat, a sweater and some fingerless gloves… I made a quilt… I’m finishing up a chalkboard/cork-board cabinet that I hope to share on here soon!
- List out the things I am thankful for. This November, I came up with a different reason every day to be thankful and kept a list.
These are some of the primary things that I tried to do to stay “above the line” and by no means is the only answers to staying positive when the world doesn’t seem quite as bright. Most days I’m finding that I am back above the line (yay!), but I must admit that I still slip below some days. I’ve found that if I return to my list above that I can pull myself up fairly quickly which makes me happy (because being below that line
is not great sucks).
As I wrap this post up, it should be noted that I am by NO MEANS an expert in any of this, and I’m definitely not a medial professional (I can’t stand the sight of blood, and have a slight squeamish/fainting problem in the presence of physical medial issues) so please, consult a professional if things are looking especially dark for you. But I do hope that in some tiny way, it might help to know that others do struggle with these issues, and that there is light to be found!