Wednesday, August 1, 2012

half-empty.

half empty


Somewhere along the way in life I gave-in to being a half-empty kind of person.
I don't like to admit it much more than most people like to hear it. There is shame to be had in being the half-empty gal.
"Half empty? That's no way to be."
"Half empty? But your life is great. What do you have to be so half empty about?"
I've heard it all. I've heard people laugh about it. I've heard people tell me I'm not grateful enough. Unless you've ever for a moment in your life seen the glass above as half empty, then you will never understand. I could talk till I was blue in the face and you would still sit there wondering what I just said.

I am not going to go into some long-winded discussion to justify why I see that glass as half-empty. I can sum it up in saying that I hate getting my hopes up about things because my experience has been that I am usually let down. And what kills me the most is that I still get my hopes up even though I try so hard not to. I get my hopes up because I care, I know that much. I may be a half-empty gal, but it doesn't mean I don't care. In fact I'd like to think that means I care a bit more than the half-full gal. I'm guessing that the half-full person can see the good in all of it, whether things go the way they had hoped or not.

Being let down by people or the outcome of something hoped for never gets any easier. Each blow can hurt just as much as the last. And though the bruising eventually goes away, all of the little hurts just seem to add-up, thus reinforcing the half-emptiness:
"It will never change."
"Things just don't go as planned for you"
"God doesn't listen."
"I must be doing something wrong."
"People don't really care."
"I need to pray more"
The little whispers paving the road to hopelessness.

I just wish I could make the caring about it all go away. I know there will be days where it all bubbles-up and catches me off guard like while driving home from dog training class last night in tears, the entire, long route home. It wasn't really all about Sammy whining the entire class and not paying attention to me, or making me look like the bad owner who doesn't know how to control her dog. It was more about the second child we don't get to have. And a move back to our home town that isn't going to happen. And the people I work so hard to reach out to only to feel as if they have no desire to know me. It was all about those things little and big that I hoped so much for that didn't go as planned. A long list of disappointments.
These moments will come, I'll be angry that I succumb to the unkind whispers in my ear, the self-doubt, the feeling of being alone and unable to count on anyone, the tears, and then it will pass. Leaving me with a headache, puffy eyes and a glass a few sips emptier.

The interesting thing about that glass above - in any other context, I think we'd all say that glass is half empty and offer to fill it to the top.

And those are my deep thoughts for the day.

10 comments:

Michelle said...

I think you're right in that half full people do have a hard time understanding the half empty feelings you describe. I know I do. It's just one of those differences in how we perceive the world, I guess. I'm sorry that things bubble up like they did after dog class but I think it is healthy to feel your feelings and name them.

On a lighter note my kids always love to tell me that the image of the jar you posted is 100% full... it's half full of water & half full of air. ;) Just wait, someday Max will say things like that to you. ;)

Naomi said...

You know I'm not a word gal...so I'll just say HUGS to you. And I wish you a glass is half full kind of day every now and then :) xo Oh and ps. beautiful picture!

stacey said...

I have a lot of thoughts about this post but I'm not sure how to articulate them, so pardon me if this is totally random and doesn't make sense.

I grew up with a very "half glass empty" mom. She still is, although she has improved slightly. Her life has been hard, I get it. But even in her every day conversations it's always, "I hope the weather cooperates!" and "gee, I hope I don't get sick". She worries about EVERYTHING. She always points out the negative. She always focuses on the bad things that could happen, even if they haven't yet. I could go on and on, but I think you get my point. My mom is amazing and has been through so much and I admire so many things about her, but sometimes it's hard for me to have convos with her or hard for me to be around her because of her "half glass empty" mentality. Because I've noticed in the past few years that I can be a lot like her and I found myself doing a lot of the same things. So about a year ago I told myself I was going to make a conscience effort not to be like that. Not only for myself, but for those around me. I don't want life to be this big "pity party for Stacey". I didn't want to be a "debbie downer". I want to be positive and life-giving. Sometimes easier said than done, I know. I also want to surround myself with people that are positive and life-giving. I've gone through periods of depression and hard times in my life and I know during those times it's almost impossible to be positive. I get that. I really do. So I do think there are some times in our lives where it's just plain HARD. Give yourself some grace, too.

I think sometimes what I have a hard time with is determining the distinction between being "negative" and being "real". Life isn't always rainbows and puppy dogs. I mean, when is it? Really? Sometimes life just sucks. And it's okay (and I think GOOD) to be real about it. But I've also learned that in those "life really sucks" moments, I have a choice. I can turn ALL of my life into this negative pot of hopelessness. Or I can purposely find the positives, the ways I am blessed, the HOPEFULNESS. Because I know I am loved by a God who holds me when life sucks. Again, sometimes easier said than done.

So, this got a little wordy and I probably should have emailed you instead :) Not sure if any of that made sense, but just know that I am reading. And that you are loved.

Karli @ The Bonnie 5 said...

Friend, I'm so sorry you're feeling this way. I wish I was a better support and encouragement to you but 1... I go for DAYS without reading blogs or FB, and 2... I'm so awful with words anyway, that I just don't know the right things to say. Dealing with not having another child seems gut-wrenching to me... and I feel like I can't articulate my words the right way to say I can sympathize with the pain it must cause. How can I say that with 3 kids? It truly breaks my heart, I think about you often. Just please know I care, and I'm always an email way. Even though I'm not on the computer all the time to check IG, or FB or even blogs... please know I care, and I think you are INSANELY talented!! I will be praying that your spirits will be lifted this week!!! xoxo

Karli @ The Bonnie 5 said...

Friend, I'm so sorry you're feeling this way. I wish I was a better support and encouragement to you but 1... I go for DAYS without reading blogs or FB, and 2... I'm so awful with words anyway, that I just don't know the right things to say. Dealing with not having another child seems gut-wrenching to me... and I feel like I can't articulate my words the right way to say I can sympathize with the pain it must cause. How can I say that with 3 kids? It truly breaks my heart, I think about you often. Just please know I care, and I'm always an email way. Even though I'm not on the computer all the time to check IG, or FB or even blogs... please know I care, and I think you are INSANELY talented!! I will be praying that your spirits will be lifted this week!!! xoxo

Karli @ The Bonnie 5 said...

oops! don't know why that posted twice! :-)

GiGi said...

I'm not sure if this is going to come across as dismissive because it truly isn't the intent - it made me sad to read this though. I'm currently listening to The Secret on audiobook and highly recommend. It talks about how powerful our thoughts are in shaping our lives, and the absolute necessity for being on a positive frequency, as negativity breeds negativity. Have you read it? I wonder if it would help you. I'm trying to do more of this myself, so thought I'd pass it along...

Tracey said...

one, I think you are brave for being honest with yourself and your feelings.
two, remember that you are loved.
I could say so much more but I really believe that you are on a road of growth that will transform you.
Hang in there!
t

georgia b. said...

this just about made me cry. i identify. sometimes in like, i feel like i only hit brick walls and only pick friends who are not in int for the long haul and only pursue pointless things. i've actually never like the analogy of half full or half empty. i know what it means... why it's there. i get the point. but i've always felt like i am the whole glass... half full and half empty. some things in life disappoint and some fulfill. i have optimism about some things and cynicism about others. i have hope for some things and none for others. there are relationships i trust and always will and some that i will not.

i love your post. i love the honesty. i love the photo. and i'm pretty fond of you, too. =)

georgia b. said...

oops... sometimes in *life*...