Do you ever scroll through your memories on social media and just cringe? It’s like, thanks, Facebook, for taking the time to remind me of what an edgy edgelord I was back in the day…
Don’t get me wrong, I do think it’s a great feature. It’s nice to look back on pictures of friends I haven’t seen in a while, or rediscover a meme I could not stop laughing about a few years back.
Sometimes memory lane is a pleasant walk. But other times it’s full of snarly vines and spiderwebs.
Though I’ve gotten better at dealing with it, I’ve always had this bad habit of letting my anxiety and depression get the best of me. And everyone used to have to hear all about it, even as recently as last year.
When things don’t go our way, it’s easy to look down on life and dwell on the negative. And as I mentioned, I used to do a whole lot of that. But now that I’ve grown a bit, I realize it doesn’t help to put out so much negativity all the time.
However, sometimes bad habits die hard.
I still have this tendency to “catastrophize,” if you will. A good example of this is the classic “WebMD” scenario: if I have a headache, it has to mean I have brain cancer. Almost like expecting the worst might actually keep the worst at bay.
I know these thoughts, albeit intrusive, are not only pessimistic, but superstitious and based in my own fears, and that is not very Proverbs 3:5 of me.
There are times when it makes sense to be pessimistic, though. For example, if you don’t study for a test in a subject you struggle with, it makes sense to go into it “knowing” you won’t do well, or even pass. This sort of viewpoint is more realistic than pessimistic.
We are to trust in the Lord, there’s no denying that. No matter what comes our way, it will ultimately work out in our best interest (Romans 8:28).
But on the same token, it’s also not good to go through life thinking because of that we’re cloaked in some sort of Super Star.
I was reading an article on this same subject that said this about optimism and faith: “On the other hand, optimism can have some kinks as well. When someone shuns medication out of the sheer optimism that God heals without physical intervention, optimism goes on a radical yet unwise level.”
While we can’t go through life with the constant idea that harm is going to come to us, it would also be foolish to coast through with the mindset that we don’t need to take any sort of action in our own lives.
The same article references John 16:33, in which Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Bad things can, and frankly, will happen in all of our lives at one point or another, and neither dwelling on or ignoring their possibilities will help us.
Perhaps, then, we should keep in mind this aforementioned verse, and take on a “Come what may” outlook on life, knowing it all adds up towards something greater than we could imagine.