A Pessimist With Hope-Guest Blog Writer, Mitzi Maynard

by bryan maynard

Life is Suffering; and, there is an end to suffering

–The Buddha

Living life fully means experiencing all of it: The good, the bad, and the ugly. I was born an optimist to a fault. I could spin anything into a positive.

Guest writer, Mitzi Maynard, shares a balanced and interesting take on her New Year’s resolution. After a long period of facing the kinds of harsh things life can throw at a person, she lays out her path for wisely seeing and embracing the duccha (suffering) that comes with being in this world. A big thanks to her for allowing me to share this with our community.

It’s been a good year

So as I ponder 2015, on this new year’s day, it is a biggie!! In 2015, I will turn 50. It is hard to believe this is true. I have learned a lot of things, but probably the most important thing is how to process the good, the bad and the ugly of this life.

I was on Facebook this morning and I was struck by all the posts saying, “it’s been a good year”…Facebook’s version of a year in review. I don’t have a lot of big things to show for 50 years of life. I haven’t made millions. I haven’t been published. I haven’t solved any major human problems or cured any diseases.

But I have learned something: Life is not about good days and bad days or good years and bad years…

Confession of a Reformed Optimist

 Living life fully means experiencing all of it: The good, the bad. and the ugly. I was born an optimist to a fault. I could spin anything into a positive. So, I write this from the perspective of having had the positive (it’s been a great year) beaten out of me. Rarely are there “good years” without tragedy, hurt and heartache. It is so easy to want to sweep the hard, sad and awful things under the rug and wait for the good to return. “Let’s find the good in this. “ Well the truth is the “good” is not always a happy, positive thing. When heartache and pain happens, we want to run. We want it to go away. But what I have learned is that ‘wanting it to go away’ is the very moment to stop. “Don’t spin it. Don’t make it ‘good’. Wait…look…seek…turn it over and flip it upside down.” I have also learned to ask questions… “How will this change me?…What will I do next time?…How long will this hurt this bad?…Who should I share this with?…What can I learn?”

For me, this new way of stopping in the moment, even when my heart aches, has changed my life. It has made me a “pessimist with hope.” I have stopped striving to make everything good. This life has lots and lots of tragedy. I have learned to breathe in the bad…to look at it and sit with it. And then, rest in the hope that all of it…all of it…means something bigger than us.

I looove to be excited, to celebrate, and to find the happy! I love to see the beauty in the smallest of things and to celebrate the tiniest of victories! But my greatest life lesson so far… is to face “the not so great things” as a pessimist with hope.