Should I bitch more?

We crazy optimists

We crazy optimists

In the past several years, every other odd month, a reader will email with a question: “Are you always so cheerful?  Are you always happy?”

I will have to painstakingly explain that No, I am not a Pollyanna, although my personality is prone to optimism.

OK, sometimes it’s prone to gushing, over-enthusiasm and downright joy.  And giggles.  Lots of giggles.

Something about this Life amuses the heck out of me.  While many look at the ominous black clouds approaching on the horizon I’m sure the sun shines all the time behind those clouds.  (Some of us are born that way.  Don’t ask why.)

You crazy pessimists

You crazy pessimists

Others of us are born with a more pessimistic outlook.  (Yes, yes, you pessimists call it realism.  We optimists roll our eyes.)

Before the Universe allows people to marry it demands that one partner be more optimistic and the other more pessimistic.  That’s the true definition of realism.  We balance each other out.  One of us bitches about, say, the weather and the other sings musicals.  What can I say?

The nitty-gritty truth of the matter is that–are you ready for this?–we optimists also bitch.  We bitch mightily.  We sneer, we sniff, we decry, we judge, we get in pissing matches.  Even though we ADORE sunny skies, we’re really humans just like the pessimists.  Our personality’s go-to mode is simply different.

We all didn't come out of the same carton, did we?

We all didn’t come out of the same carton, did we?

We don’t always think that the garbage men are the “friendliest people in the Universe”.  We don’t always think sales people rock.  We don’t always like the guy who gives us the finger when he spins off in a road rage.

Want some more examples, do you?

We do not always like when thoughts start writing this blog in the middle of the night when we’re trying to sleep.  Oh, no, no, no.  We do NOT like this, the eternal blogging voice when you’re trying to get some shut-eye.

We do not always like mean people who scoff at our precious ideas.  We do not always like war and hunger and stupid humans doing stupid things.  We think certain political parties should be banned from the earth. We don’t always like tornadoes and hurricanes and forest fires and earthquakes, either.  We do not like the way death pulls away our loved ones from our arms.

We could bitch from the middle of the night until tomorrow, we could.  We could tell you all that’s wrong with the world and our eternal struggle to make it right.  We could be the opposite of Pollyanna.  We could be angry bitter souls decrying a rotting world that seemingly attacks and destroys us.

(Wow, Kathy, did you actually type those last paragraphs?)

You know what I think is beyond optimism and pessimism?  Beyond broadly smiling and bitching at the world’s antics?

Learning to witness and allow what is.  Learning to face whatever the Universe offers us and allow it to exist.

Ice in driveway. Could be something to bitch about?

Ice in driveway. Could be something to bitch about?

So much of our suffering–well, I’ll make it personal–my suffering–occurs when I resist what is arising.  Let’s say I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep because of that darn internal blogger inappropriately ready to blog.

The resistance starts as inner bitching.  I want to sleep. I do not want to think.  Then the body tightens and emotions rise.  Frustration, sadness, anger, despair.  Please let me sleep, I hate this, please let me sleep!  Perhaps you try to stop thinking.  That doesn’t work.  Your feelings knot and swirl.  It can truly be a bloody inner war.

Yet there is another option.  Allowing what is to be.  Allowing that the Universe (substitute God or Great Spirit or Allah if you please) is allowing this next moment to arise.  We don’t have to like the next moment.  We don’t even have to be in agreement with it.  (In fact, we often aren’t.)  We simply surrender to the rising moment.

From that surrender, from the lack of inner division, the perfect response so much more often arises.  We know what to do.  We’re relaxed.  We’re not perpetuating war.  We’re not lost in a sea of endless bitching.  We flow on Life’s currents  navigating our canoe.

All because we accepted what arose.  We accepted the weather, the road rage fellow with the finger, the devastation, the garbage, the loss of job, the death of a loved one, the middle-of-the-night disruption.

Is it easy?  Is it as simple as I’ve described?  Heck no.  It often takes a lifetime of surrendering, surrendering, surrendering to the next rising moment that often doesn’t look anything like we want.

Distortion or truth?

Distortion or truth?

It isn’t a blind turning toward optimism or away from pessimism.  It’s a deep looking at what arises.  And a deep love that allows the next imperfect/perfect moment to arise.

What’s the value of bitching?  It points us to where we must look deeper.  Where we’re resisting the flow of life.  Where we’re creating internal war.  We think that the bitching is solving something, but the energy release caused by bitching is very temporary.

I’ve done lots of bitching in this lifetime.  Haven’t we all?  But this lesson of moving beyond bitching to see my own resistances has been the biggest teaching of all.

(There, you middle of the night thoughts!  Are you satisfied?  Will you shut up?  Did I write down everything you dictated?  Jeeez….can we get some sleep now?)

What are your thoughts about bitching?  Are you a pessimist or optimist?  How do you come to inner peace?

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in February 2013 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

97 Responses to Should I bitch more?

  1. WOW! I think you have said it all quite well !

  2. Amen ~ your friend too often the realist (but who wants to listen to me bitching in my blog all the time?! — blogs are a wonderful outlet and reminder to ourselves to be grateful for all we have in this life and all that life offers us) ~ Kat 🙂

  3. “Learning to witness and allow what is.”

    Kathy – those words alone were worth the price of admission. That’s the key, isn’t it? That’s the whole enchilada!

    You asked, “Are you a pessimist or optimist?

    I tend to have a rather merry disposition. That’s not to say that I don’t ever bitch. Bitching just happens to be the exception rather than the rule for me.

    • Kathy says:

      Laurie, you used the word “enchilada” because you knew I had one the other night, right? I love that you say you have a merry disposition. That sounds so cool. I suspect most of us bitch sometimes. But hopefully not TOO much, whatever that might be. 🙂

  4. Brenda Hardie says:

    Kathy…you sure did cover all the bases! And being a person who spent much of her life as a pessimist, I am happy to report that I am much more of an optimist these days. So, I understand both sides of the coin. Life is much more agreeable on the optimist side. The very best place to be, however, in in the acceptance mode. I learned it as radical acceptance in a therapy course. It was something I had never learned before (personally) and it took much deliberate work. When I finally learned it, I didn’t even realize until my therapist began smiling at me—she saw it before I did. And now I cannot imagine life without that skill. However, complaining still gets into my life–about painful knees and worries and anxieties. So, I still have to work at the acceptance part. It’s something to be mindful of, all the time.
    Hope you get some rest today 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Really, Brenda? You are a reformed pessimist? How intriguing that you understand both sides of the coin so well. Isn’t it great when we can get to that place of acceptance? And I agree–it often takes much deliberate work until we can live there. Perhaps we all have to work at that acceptance part until it becomes second nature. As for getting rest, I wasn’t even sleepy yesterday! Isn’t that odd? Perhaps when the Universe wants you up it rewards you with wide-awakeness.

  5. Ditto! Can’t say it better than you just did. I’m naturally an optimist and have been called “idealistic” waaayyy too many times. My husband, on the other hand, is “realistic,” as you say.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh good, Jessica, another idealist. *smile* And I can see you fulfilled the marriage contract and got yourself a realist. I am now wondering what my husband will say when & if he reads this blog.

  6. Elisa says:

    Ahhhhhhhhh yes, I love real world application! The Ground can be a damned dirty place to be. I thank you again for these words, and in this way. But, but, it wasn’t meeeeeeee (this time)! The feeling and action examples help, at least me, to find meaning and works beyond the ideas of the words. When I’m harping on myself for being an inner shrew, littering my side of the street, I can now flash an image of bitchy kathy and laugh and laugh at myself. (thinks about flat kathy and wonders if I should print out that insane snowperson frazzled onto a stick for bitchy kathy, just to keep me in line 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Oh good, glad to have provided some real world application. Examples can really help where only words can leave us flustered sometimes. Glad to have introduced you to bitchy kathy. I believe most of my family members have met her over the years.

  7. dorannrule says:

    I am a blogging optimist (some friends say “sugar coated.”) But I am a real-time pessimist married to a real-time optimist. The combination of realism and dealing with it and open-for-disappointment optimism seems to work. This is a grand post with lots of food for thought. :))

    • Kathy says:

      How very fascinating that you are both an optimist AND a pessimist. I’m wondering if we all have parts of ourselves that have both sides. Your comment is providing food for thought. thank you!

  8. I find that once I surrender, I am on my way back up to the surface–excellent post

  9. susan says:

    Hi Kathy,
    How well said! I especially loved “What is the value of bitching?” because there IS one as you pointed out. Often this moment of “internal disharmony” is a wake-up nudge to either look deeper or look in the mirror.

    I am an optimist – always have been. I like the no-limits approach to things which sure allows for creative forces to jump in and stomp the beegeebees out of the words I can’t. Although sometimes a struggle, I find the silver linings in the black clouds. And I actually DEPEND on my inner bitch to wake me up, shake me up, and tell me I’ve wandered off the path of acceptance.

    Hugs
    SuZen

    • Kathy says:

      Yep, SuZen, our inner bitch can indeed be a great gift, can’t she? There IS value to bitching! There’s probably value to every single part of ourselves. I like how you’ve friended your bitch (ha ha, that sounds funny) and depend on her to tell you when you’ve wandered off the path of acceptance. What a great way to put it.

  10. Heather says:

    I think it is much easier to be an optimist when you allow things to be. To let the moments wash by, acknowledging that they may stink and be awful, but they shall pass, and that the sun IS shining behind those clouds. Yes unfortunate and bad things happen, but I don’t find bitching to do much to allow me to move on, so I generally choose to focus my efforts elsewhere, like accepting. I have friends who hold on to anger over such little things, and I think that must be absolutely exhausting. I’ll just bitch about it a little and then move on 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Heather, we so agree. Bitching just doesn’t seem to really help much–accept in the short run, except as a wake up call to point us back on the path. OK, sometimes it’s a little fun. (Did we bitch together when you visited? Or were we sunnily optimistic the whole time?

  11. lisaspiral says:

    Yes those inner blogger thoughts in the middle of the night that keep us awake are…. But I always sleep better if I get up and give in. I agree that optimism doesn’t require a rejection of reality. Pollyannaism does and there’s a difference, don’t you think? I have learned that my inner bitch is mostly bitching about not being in control of whatever situation I’m bitching about. If optimism is a rejection of reality then pessimism is hubris. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, Lisa, you have articulated an important difference. Very good! Pollyanna-ism (what a funny word) does imply a rejection of reality. Optimism doesn’t have to. You have shared some wise thoughts here. Thank you.

  12. sonali says:

    I found it lyrical. I love the way you write. Its as if you are here, singing the words to me. For once, You must record yourself speak & upload a video. I’m sure you are a good orator too. Well, yea I think I am sometimes optimist & sometimes pessimist, & I try to learn how to be more optimistic from the optimists I meet. Sometimes bitching is fun? I just be quiet, perhaps bitching in my mind 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Sonali, you are the sweetest! I have NO IDEA how I would sound on a video. But, yes, the words sometimes come out really lyrically, like a song, don’t they? I am more and more suspecting that we all have optimistic and pessimistic sides. (And, shhhh, yes, bitching can be fun. tee hee.)

  13. sybil says:

    You always choo, choo, choose the goodest of wurds.

    OMG the blog-o-sphere would be a dreary place if we always said what we were really thinking or what was really going on in our lives.

    Dwelling on the negatives just ain’t the thing for me. I could drown in a funk if I allowed it. But I like to have fun and put a positive spin on things.

    AND … I love musicals. I can belt out “Defying Gravity” over and over, coz I don’t know all the words and get into one of those two-line loops.

    I want to be happy. That’s why I read your blog. I always know it will be thoughtful, inspiring or uplifting.

    I think of you as a friend.

    Sorry.

    What was the question ?

    • Kathy says:

      OK, Sybil. #1 The blogosphere CERTAINLY would be a different place if we all honestly said what was on our mind. Some of the stuff that filters through the mind just seems kinda unnecessary, doesn’t it? #2 I like how you use humor. You often have me giggling uncontrollably. #3 What the heck is Defying Gravity? An unknown musical, she asked? #4 You are my friend, too. And you are also often thoughtful, inspiring or uplifting. #5 Was there a question?

    • Kathy says:

      I did like this very much, Pamela. Just re-read it a second time and left a comment there. I hope she gets well. I have some friends and acquaintances with cancer and I so hope they get well…

  14. Stacy says:

    I wouldn’t say I’m a pessimist exactly, Kathy – more like….a realist. Ha! I’ve had to work on what I call my “core.” I still ask myself if a person can change her dark core. This person is trying, and as you say, it’s an acceptance of what is, but I also think it’s a redirection of thoughts. Negative thoughts lead down a road of negative feelings. I’m still learning (I’m a slow learner), but thank goodness I married an optimist! ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Stacy, when I see you I see light. If there is darkness in your core I see light shining through to the surface like grace. I’ve been a slow learner, too, but it feels we’re both opening our hearts to allow more light in.

  15. I could write a book about all that you have written for me to babble over or muse about. But I just can’t write all that kind of stuff. I got carried away yesterday and then thought about emailing you to erase most of what I had written. So please do erase if you think some or all should not be in the comment.

    • Kathy says:

      Yvonne, I would have no idea what you might want me to delete from your previous comment. It all sounded like what you were thinking and feeling at the time. I so often enjoy sparking conversation–or causing people to think more deeply–in these blog posts. Have a great weekend.

  16. I have like, the same problem as you. I have that optimism (sometimes) and that tendency to try to accept and be curious rather than to judge and complain. People then sometimes think that I’m some happy-go-lucky hippie person who just has eternal love for everything- at which point, I want to put them in my head to see how I internally react to that statement before actually transforming the feeling into a calmer one and replying. It’s funny how we are perceived with that outlook, then once they hear about how it sort of “works,” and about our struggles and not-nice parts and what we do with them, they can maybe see the depth of that type of outlook. This is a great post! I also get that night writing itch, which can be a pain. Sometimes I tell it, “Look, I promise I will write you all out tomorrow with coffee. Right now, I need to sleep. Plus maybe a dream or two will improve your quality, so please rest.” and sometimes that works 🙂 Sometimes, not so much 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Jennifer, yes, exactly, you’ve stated this so well. That is what I wanted to reveal in this post–that the initial reaction might even appear as bitchy and negative and pessimistic, but there is a process of looking for the acceptance and curiosity that does indeed feel valuable. (At least the longing to find common ground, to move past initial judgment, feels right to me, anyway.) Will consider attempting to convince that middle-of-the-night writer too. Thank you!

  17. P.j. grath says:

    Coming back again to say–Don’t worry, Kathy! There are plenty of us on the bitching job, and we’ve got it pretty well covered!

  18. Val says:

    Well done, and well said. And may your inner bitchcritter let you have some sleep! 🙂

    I’m a bit of both, pessimist and optimist. I try to avoid bitching about stuff that nobody else can fix, and if I do need to rant about it I try to turn it into a bit of comedy instead in the hope that people will laugh instead of getting angry or feeling hurt. (Some of my best posts have come out of that.) That said, sometimes yes, it does come out, it gets expelled into the universe.

    One of my readers, Ray Colon, posted a great comment on my blog after I had my say about the Sandy Hook tragedy in which I apologised for voicing my sadness. He said (my italics): “I wrote a post within the first couple of hours of Friday’s tragedy, and part of the reason that I did that was because of you. Do you remember your post about the Tsunami? In that post, you wrote about the responsibility of bloggers to not be silent during those types of events. I took that advice to heart and stopped waiting until all the facts were in before writing, because I believe that our raw emotional reactions are lost if we wait.

    Speculation and misinformation are not part of that. I’m speaking about writing from the heart at the moment that our hearts are injured. We may not be as thoughtful when we do this, but we are passionate and real.

    Who does it help? I honestly don’t know, but the hope is that whatever we put out there helps someone, even as you point out, if it is only ourselves.” .

    And he’s right, and well it’s also – now – how I feel about pushing ones so-called ‘negativities’ out into the universe. I think there’s a place for them. We might not help other people by it, but we could help ourselves by getting the feelings out there. And our own lives, our own selves, are as valid, as important as anyone else’s. We have to care for ourselves however we can. And – this life needs balance, but to see the good often you have to see the bad as well.

    • Kathy says:

      Val, you make some great points here! I, too, believe in writing from feelings–all sorts of feelings–because pushing away negatives often results in only stuffing away what is arising and not being present with it. Writing from sadness, pain and suffering often seems very true and real and raw and strangely beautiful. Many optimists DO push away what they perceive as bad and many pessimists seem to kind of attach to the muck of negativity. There is a balance and that’s why I think the Universe puts a pessimistic and optimistic person together–so that both parts of the equation will be present. (And I also believe that every personality has a pessimistic and optimistic side, although one emphasis often predominates.) Very good points to add to the discussion. I agree with you 150%.

  19. Oh, I’m terribly afraid that my comments were the ones keeping you awake in the middle of the night, and I’m so sorry. You are good. You are almost always a bright, cheery voice. You see the blue sky through the clouds and the rainbow after the storm…because that’s what you’re watching for. When I feel that I’ve been particularly self-pitying or whiny in my writing, I sometimes feel ashamed when I read your uplifting words. However, I started my writing practice to be more aware of and honest with my own feelings. I won’t censor myself in order to “put on a happy face” all the time. I never feel that you are censoring yourself, but that you’re putting your honestly good and optimistic self out there. Which is just as it should be, even if it sometimes makes me, in my own insecurity, feel a little inferior. You are not “too good”. You are true to yourself and your own awareness, which is exactly as you should be. If my hasty comments were unclear or hurtful, I’m truly sorry.

    • Kathy says:

      Well, since we already had an email conversation, Cindy, I don’t know what to add to this comment. First, as I said, it was not YOUR fault. I actually loved that your provided some fuel for the inner self to express itself. I do not believe on putting on a “happy face” all the time at all, either. That’s dishonest if that’s not what we’re feeling. (Just ask my family. They’ve seen every kind of face.) I love honest people. People who are sharing what they’re feeling, either negative or positive. As I said in a previous comment, it feels like a fine line where optimism becomes blind la-la-la-la and pessimism becomes rolling around in the mud. Each of us are prone to do both in differing situations, aren’t we? Awareness can hopefully nudge us when we’ve gone overboard in one direction or another. So thank you again! I think you’re wonderful.

  20. Carol says:

    “Learning to witness and allow what is. Learning to face whatever the Universe offers us and allow it to exist.” So perfect! May I quote you? I have a dear friend whose husband is going through some medical issues now and they are far away, in their warmer winter habitat. The other day she asked me how I’d managed to deal with husband’s issues over the past couple of years because she was not dealing well with her situation. My response? Should have been exactly what you said, but I was not so wise. I said I did not know – I simply believe that life deals the cards and you must deal with the cards you get – there is no other choice. In our household, I am the optimist although I was not always, and husband is the pessimist.

    • Kathy says:

      Carol, I like the simplicity and truth of your sharing with your friend. A lot less words and very succinct: Life deals the cards and you must deal with the cards you get–there is no other choice. That is wisdom itself. Thank you for sharing that–and sharing through your blog and life how you deal with your *sometimes* painful deck of cards.

  21. Kerry Dwyer says:

    What’s a pissing competition?
    I am optimistic and my husband tells me I am very naive which makes me like everyone. Internal Joy is the key
    “Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”
    Mother Teresa

    I think you should keep on being you Kathy.

    • Kathy says:

      A pissing competition (I am making this up from my interpretation, ha ha) is when two people get in a fight and kind of try to prove each other right or wrong. I tend to like most people, too, Kerry. Except maybe three that I’m thinking of right now. I keep trying to like them but it isn’t working–yet. Will keep working on that. (As for keeping on being me, did you really think I wouldn’t? My daughter said she didn’t think I should bitch more. I said, Do you really think I’m going to? She said: that’s what you suggested in your blog. I said: don’t believe everything you read. I just use the “I” word to make points to catch souls in that net. ha ha ha…)

  22. msmcword says:

    Kathy:
    I admit that I am a born pessimist; but I have learned to get my inner-peace through God and Jesus.

    I do my share of griping-needless to say,-but sometimes it is this griping that gives me ideas for my blog posts.

    Happy gripping!
    Nancy

    • Kathy says:

      Griping does provide the BEST ideas for blog posts, Nancy. I have griped lots in this blog! Against Facebook, for one… So glad you have found your inner peace. Not many people can feel that deeply and for sure.

  23. Lori D says:

    Where to begin on this topic. As we discussed on my blog one day, I lean toward pessimism, and it’s exactly why I gravitate toward optimists. In fact, I’ve noticed that most of the bloggers I follow are optimists (and also my husband). I want to be an optimist, and some days I am. On the days that I’m not, there in lies the balance from my optimistic blogger friends and husband. It’s always a pleasure to come here and be reminded to allow what is.

    • Kathy says:

      Lori, I still have trouble imagining you as a pessimist. You seem like an optimist–at least on many of your blog posts. It’s been interesting reading comments and other’s opinions. Someone even suggested they are a blogging optimist and a real-life pessimist. Interesting how and when we show our different sides. So glad you are a person who values “what is”. That is a lifelong endeavor, is it not, my friend?

      • Lori D says:

        Hey Kathy, I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying “fake it ’til you make it.” I try to uplift myself by blogging optimistic, and even in person, speaking optimistic. Keep doing it and it sticks, right? My mind always automatically goes to the worst case scenario. All the “what if’s” and such, but then I try to cancel those out by switching. It’s a struggle, back & forth, but I think I’m an optimist at heart. Truly, if we live from that spot within, we’re all optimists. 🙂

        • Kathy says:

          Lori, what you wrote now is lovely. I think many of our minds–being minds that judge, after all–go to the worst case scenario first. But years of doing the “work” to find the value of “what is” is so worth it. I love that you’re doing the work. You are a gift.

          • Lori D says:

            Thank you, Kathy. Here I go again, with another comment. 😛 My husband and I were just talking about our day at the State Fair (which I just blogged about). We knew the weather was going to be bad. Once we accepted what is, we had a GREAT time despite the weather. I’m learning. Some days it’s better than others. Hugs.

          • Lori D says:

            Sorry, my comment went twice. Been struggling with wordpress bugs over here lately. It is what it is. 😉

  24. john says:

    I find it very therapeutic to every once in a while to bitch my head off and get it all out. Sometimes the rage is against the commie pinko socialists that are trying to ruin this country, other times it is about the fascist dictators who want to run this country with an iron fist. Sometimes it is about the crazy Lutherans, sometimes those Catholic papists who are trying to subvert our government, other times it is the God-less atheists and their weird notion of separation between church and state. Some days I am pro-Palestinian others I am defending the Jewish state.

    After I get my rage out, defaming, libeling, degrading and ostracizing any of the above, I find my inner peace hold hands with anyone standing close to me and sing Kumbaya and celebrate the diversity that makes America so special (Until someone or something pisses me off again)

    • Kathy says:

      John, I feel like I know you a little better now! At least you are bitching EQUALLY for and against everyone. I kind of like that. If I ever take up bitching will you be my guru? (OK, Barry’s a pretty good bitching guru, too, although he probably won’t like me saying that. I don’t think he’s read this blog or the comments, so am probably safe…) Bet you’re watching the dog sled races this weekend.

    • Haha! You just described me having PMS. 😀

  25. OM says:

    Yep!!!! (GOL)

    • Kathy says:

      OM, I am thrilled you found this entertaining and funny. I’ve actually learned something really valuable through posting this. About the internal optimist and pessimist and the way both can get stuck in attaching to a viewpoint and the value of each. Hurray!

  26. Colleen says:

    I don’t know if either definition fits anymore. I’ve been both over the years, sometimes at the same time, but probably leaning towards the optimistic more often. I’ve also done my share of bitching over the years and even took a workshop that encouraged us to embrace our inner bitch. Loved it and loved her 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      You know, Colleen, after writing this post–I will never, ever, polarize the words optimist and pessimist as much as before. Through sharing this I feel the value of each even more. There have probably been ways I have not been respecting that bitch enough. Will watch and love her even more when she shows her snotty face. tee hee… (See how incurable it is NOT to turn things around?)

      • Colleen says:

        Kathy, thinking back, the inner bitch was (is) the fierce, wild, outspoken woman we all have inside. Reflective of the times, I think…20+ years ago…when this was less acceptable 🙂

  27. I am way behind today and I’m not even sure if I may or might have already commented. Short and simple- I am negative about a lot of things most of the time but no one really knows how I feel. I wish that I could change.

    • Kathy says:

      Yvonne, one of the things I’ve learned after writing this piece is that many of us feel negative first. How important it is to let that negativity arise and see it without judging it. But there is also the “work” of looking deeper to see the value of what we’ve judged as negative. I suspect you already do this many times, don’t you?

  28. dawnkinster says:

    Some of us are Piglet…some of us are Eeyore….

  29. Munira says:

    It’s never a blind turning toward optimism or turning away from pessimism for me…I look deeply at what arises and allow myself to love every perfect/imperfect moment for what it is 🙂
    I bitch internally quite often, every time I see evidence of all kinds of failure in civic governance, mismanagement etc…..and often it spills out on my bitch buddies aka Huz and Fatu (my insufferable kid sister)
    I just hope you managed to get some sleep after articulating all this wisdom Kathy!!! Thanks for saying it all ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Munira, you have described perfectly “allowing what is”. I now have a new theory that the mind is a bitcher. But what we do with its bitching is up to us. I think it’s funny that one of your bitch buddies is “insufferable”. tee hee. (And, yes, I slept like a baby the Night After.)

  30. I get this ALL the TIME!!! I’m a MORNING person OK!! I am HAPPY and Smily and CHIPPER! It used to drive my mother crazy but you know what? I DON”T CARE if she or anyone doesn’t like my happy disposition! Chipper people who can smile through it ALL are the BEST KIND!!!!
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
    HAPPY POWER!!!!

  31. AnnieR says:

    I’m a very optimistic, cheerful and upbeat person but my job sometimes requires me to work with people who are most definitely not having a good day. It’s hard to absorb all that negativity and at the end of the day, a 10 minute bitch session is quite rewarding. We sometimes have a ‘who dealt with the biggest jerk’ contest. It makes it much easier to come back to work the next day!

    • Kathy says:

      Gosh, Annie, I think it would be super hard to work with negative folks on a regular basis. I give you lots of credit and bet that 10 minute bitch session releases a lot of energy. Sounds cathartic!

  32. Alluvja says:

    Great blog Kathy! Aha …I knew it all the time deep down inside….I’m delighted to know I can bitch a bit here and there and NOT feel guilty about it, just witness it……Ha ha 😉

  33. Karma says:

    You are surely further along the path of allowing what is to be than I am, but I do feel like I’m making progress in the area. I feel like my bitching is simply to blow off the steam, keep it from bottling up inside and then letting it go. I’m certain it is a healthier way of being than keeping it all inside. I know the bitching won’t fix anything, and that sometimes you have no choice but to let it be – and that’s an example I’m attempting to pass on to my daughters as well. Don’t sweat the small stuff – and isn’t it all truly small stuff?

    • Kathy says:

      Dearest Karma, you musn’t say I am further along the path than thee. Ha ha, at least not on ALL days! Just ask my husband. You are so right that bottling up bitching inside can create all sorts of ailments. So maybe it’s better to bitch than not. I am learning so much from everyone after writing this blog. I am going to treat my inner bitch nicer in the future.

  34. Joanne says:

    “We flow on Life’s currents navigating our canoe.” I learned long ago that it is useless to try to flow against the tide. It gave me a headache, make that many headaches! There is always an up-side to every situation, if we look hard enough, or feel it strongly enough within our heart. Doesn’t everyone see that? Unfortunately they don’t. Like you say, optimists are just born that way, So are pessimists. Can I have a bitch about pessimists? I’d love to! I’m married to one. *sigh*….

  35. Oh, Kathy. This is *exactly* the reminder I needed today. Thank goodness for the blogging voice that leaves you sleepless.

    • Kathy says:

      Glad that this was what you needed today. (Or yesterday. Or was your comment the day before?) I’ll tell the middle-of-the-night blogging voice YOU like her. ha ha

  36. I like that you always seem to look on the bright side of things. I think you have a wonderful outlook on life. That’s one of the reasons I drop around to read your blogs. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, withershins, I guess I do mostly try to look on the bright side of things. Isn’t that the sunnier place to be? Thank you for dropping by and adding your wisdom.

  37. Pingback: “You always happy” | Lake Superior Spirit

  38. Dana says:

    This post covers all the bases, Kathy! I’ve always considered myself an optimist but have been attempting to temper my Pollyanna outlook with– not ‘realism’/pessimism– but acceptance. Just like you said.

    Tangent: I read the most perfect description of struggling against “what-is” in one of those Abraham Hicks books a while back. They talked about acceptance being like floating in a small canoe down a river– just letting the currents take us wherever we are meant to go. Resistance was described like paddling up stream. They talked about how we ‘clever’ humans are continuously deriving new ideas to make this upstream paddling more ergonomic: we work out and develop our muscles, we see personal trainers and get tips on paddle stroke, we make our canoes out of lighter, more aerodynamic materials, and we buy the most expensive paddles with proper grips and perfect stream-slicing proportions. However. Wouldn’t it be easier to simply turn our canoes around and travel *with* the current? That would be acceptance! I like to think of this analogy whenever I catch myself (frequently) working against that-which-is.

  39. Christina says:

    Regarding this topic, we’re very much alike, Kathy. I am an eternal optimist where, even in moments of intense sadness and difficulty, deep down I know the sun is shining bright. But, as you point out, I still find myself caught up in moments of frustration or anger (like when my cats wake me up 3 times in one night or when the train that was supposed to show up 5 minutes ago never arrives) and it’s those moments that I’ve learned to release and let go of to allow my body to relax. Yoga has been immensely helpful to me in this respect. Thanks for sharing your well-thought out words, dear Kathy!

    • Kathy says:

      Gosh, Christina, I think we are similar in these ways. Some of my most pessimistic moments come in the middle of a sleepless night. Otherwise…well, it’s much easier and more fun to smile and be optimistic. Yoga IS helpful! You are so right about that. Glad you enjoyed this.

  40. Robin says:

    How shocking! You’re human. 😉 Wonderful post, Kathy. I am an optimist, too, and seem to be right behind you in terms of learning to let the moment arise and just be, rather than resist and suffer for it. Still, the occasional rant, rave, or bitch comes out. I think the challenges I set for myself over the past three years (starting with being inspired by you to get outside every day) have helped move me along on this chain of evolution. Reading wonderful blogs posts like this have also inspired and helped. 😀

    • Kathy says:

      Were you REALLY shocked, dear Robin? I am so definitively human. Just ask–well, anyone. OK, ask Barry. Perhaps I could share about certain bitching sessions, but no. Will keep those mum. Glad you have been inspired by posts like these. I am inspired by your posts!

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