I know it’s only a metaphor, and I love metaphors, but I was always bothered by the glass half empty – half full thing. I wasn’t sure exactly why. I knew that I was always vaguely bothered by the putting someone in a category. I don’t like that. It’s akin to the “I’m a cat person” or “I’m a dog person” thing. Really? I’m a person person and I love cats AND dogs. Why the need to choose?
Back to the glass. At one point I thought that the glass was both half empty and half full. I still think that, but I’ve gone a little beyond. I now believe that the glass is totally full. It’s half filled with water (or gin) and half with air. We’re talking metaphor, though, right? First, I want to say that I don’t believe that people are necessarily positive or negative people. At any moment, one may feel optimistic or positive, and at any other moment feel pessimistic or negative. (This is back to my point about putting people into categories.)
Anyway – life is filled with pleasant and unpleasant experiences, and to say that we should only acknowledge one is to deny the other. Denial is sometimes necessary in short bursts to get through the really tough times, but it’s not so good as a long term strategy.
Saying Yes to Life
I’ve heard people bandy about the term, “Say yes to life.” While I’m not necessarily sure what they mean when they say it, this would be what I would mean if I were to use it. (That reminds me: How much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?)
To me, “saying yes to life” means embracing what feels good as well as what feels bad. That doesn’t mean you enjoy every moment, because you probably won’t. It does mean to be with yourself and let yourself fully feel whatever it is you’re feeling; fully experience whatever it is you’re experiencing (unless it really, really sucks. Then I would say no a little.)
I’m going to go a bit further with this. I’ve often wondered what’s the difference between us and spirits? Sort of my spin on the “Why are we here?” question. I always arrive at the same conclusion. Everything is energy; spirits, rocks, us. Humans are energy that is arranged in a particular form. That form can touch, feel and sense. Spirits, as I understand it, cannot. So, I think we are here to feel. Sometimes, when I am in the greatest angst, I am reminded that those are the times – moments of great sorrow, great joy – that I am the most human. Glass filled to overflowing.
p.s. Don’t break the glass. 😉