Post in Portuguese (Brazil), Spanish

Okay, I admit it. Controlling our reaction to what happens to us is just not that easy. Sometimes smiling to that unfriendly shop assistant is the hardest thing in the world. So is insisting on saying “good morning” to that ill-tempered neighbor. No, this is too much! It is just not easy to have a positive attitude when life itself seems to treat you badly. In other words, being optimistic in the face of difficulties is not for the weakling.

A few months ago I borrowed a book called “Optimism” (Otimismo, in Portuguese). I just HAD to read it because I was living one of those days when everything seems to be against you.

If you are a mom, you know what I mean. If your child needs an extra medical attention, you understand me even better. In other words, if your motherhood has an extra something, if it has this PLUS like mine, you really know what I am talking about. Sometimes tiredness, concerns and daily tasks seem to be so overwhelming that we get a little “blind” to so many good events in our lives. It amazes me how rapidly we forget to value important things when we are not feeling good inside.

Has your baby cried again? Well, this is a sign that he/she is alive. I had to wait for weeks to hear my baby’s first cry, because he suffered asphyxia at birth and was immediately admitted to an ICU. Does your child throw toys around the house? It is then a sure sign that his/her development is going well.

Believing that every cloud has a silver lining is not easy, but making an effort to be more positive makes all the difference. In the aforementioned book, author Rafael Llano Cifuentes states the difference between “attitudes” and “facts”. His words will end this post better than mine 🙂

Attitudes are more important than facts. Events change in color and in consistence according to the attitudes we assume towards them. To all of us there is dawn and twilight, happiness and pain, shadow and light, sad events and exciting happenings, but we feel them differently, according to our outlook on life.  (…)

The same fact acquires more or less importance depending on one of the mental patterns that seem to guide human life: optimism and pessimism”.

(Rafael Llano Cifuentes – free translation from the original in Portuguese).