Is the glass half-full or half-empty? This conundrum is not about a self-deceptive positivity or a depressingly realistic negativity. It is about the orientation with which we interact with the world, with people and within ourselves. The way that we view things is a road down which we travel. I have known individuals who take suffering in life as evidence that the glass is half-empty and that the journey is just not worth it. Their thinking is that if life was really half-full there would be no suffering. Yes there is suffering along the way but face it that’s just life… or rather a part of life. Suffering is not all that there is. Life is also a day when the breeze is so perfect, the sunlight so kind, and the scent of flowers so bewitching that you want to turn inside out from sheer joy even while there are still hard or difficult things to deal with. Those are the half-full days.
A half-empty orientation is insidious. I have known individuals whose half-empty orientation has lead them to an inability to understand how anyone can enjoy anything. In such cases the person feels lost and separated from everyone, like a ghost who yearns to cross back over into happiness but who can’t find the road that leads to it. Negativity can be like a tar-baby that entraps and holds us to itself. If that is one’s inner orientation then learning to view the glass as half-full will not feel natural. It will mean remembering to constantly recall that half-empty means only half-alive. Just because a half-full orientation does not feel natural to us does not mean that it is not for us. A half-full acceptance is not freedom from the storms of life. Rather, it is peace in the midst of the storms. It is peace even when someone has betrayed you. It is the ability to appreciate yet one more day of being alive!