I’ll never ever forget the first time my therapist casually dropped a “that’s because you’re such an optimist” into our sessions. RECORD SCRATCH. THIS IS A PLOT TWIST-A MAJOR FREAKING PLOT TWIST. I needed her to explain herself please. Because I’d been pegged. My whole life I’d been handed a narrative about myself. Does that ever happen to you? Someone (or many someones or alllll the someones-society itself) tells you a story about who you are and you buy it? Hook, line, and sinker. I did. I believed the world when it told me that I was a raging pessimist. Because I’m very very serious. I don’t laugh when a whole room of people is laughing if I’m seeing something deeper, like maybe the hurting person for whom the laughter is at their expense. I don’t laugh at sexist jokes. And I feel the world deeply. I travel around this planet daily taking in her vibrations, intoxicated by her pulse. I don’t suck it up when I’m feeling deeply. When the world is crashing down, I’m screaming “HEY LOOK EVERYONE THE WORLD IS CRASHING!!!” When things are broken I call them broken and I do not shut up about it until they are downright good and healed. When I know deep in my bones that things can be different I say so and I do not ever give up ever until I see that change coming ‘round the bend. These things about me, this verbose truth telling and prolific emoting, they make me serious and effective and badass. They do not make me pessimistic. A pessimist looks at the world and thinks: shit I don’t know, it is what it is, what could I do? And I have never done that, not a day in my life. “It’s because you’re such an optimist,” she said. The mother of optimism. An optimist looks at this world and says: nah, not this, I will not stop until not this. The truth of who I am was always there and I was living that truth, the only piece missing was me knowing the truth. When I began knowing the truth? When I began knowing who I am? Fire.
Evaluate your story and the narrative you were given about who you are? Does it sit right with your gut? Does it actually truly make sense? Or might you have ingested a lie? Lies about our identity are toxic. The truth sets the whole damn world on fire.