If you ask my cousin in Ireland how he is doing, the reply often is “Keeping the bright side out.” He explained this to me as when he is under pressure, he finds is easier to smile through the day, while working on keeping his thoughts moving toward the brighter side too.
It is a great exercise. I find it extremely helpful when I am handling something difficult.
However sometimes I have been accused of being ‘Pollyannaish.” This describes an pleasant optimistic outlook and a determined cheeriness. It can also imply that this attitude is naive, excessive or not appropriate to the situation. When you put a positive spin on everything, even things that call for sadness or discouragement, you’re being pollyannaish.
The word comes from a 1913 children’s book by Eleanor H. Porter, Pollyanna, about a young girl who tries to find something positive in every situation — a trick she calls “the Glad Game.” The story became the basis for a Disney movie in 1960. I love this movie. Pollyanna believes that problems can be overcome by a positive attitude. When she faces severe adversity herself, it is challenging for her to remain optimistic. Her family and friends rallied around her and her positive attitude was restored.
Difficult things happen to each of us. No one is excluded. Most days, I can handle the situations facing me as my cousin explained, by “keeping the bright side out.” On the days that doesn’t work as well, I am grateful to my family and friends that lend me their strength and support until my positive attitude is restored and things look brighter to me.
Share with me how you get through those tough times in your life.
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