Sunday, 07 July 2024 12:22

Finding the Positive Amongst the Negative

On a recent walk in my neighborhood, I noticed something that got me thinking of the human condition. I live in an area where the houses sit side by side and an unlined road cuts through the neighborhood. Driveways lead to garages or front doors and the grass on some lawns is so high that outside cats lounge in the grassy fields without having to worry about being seen. There aren’t any designated sidewalks for pedestrians so I have to walk on the roads that wind throughout the neighborhood, vigilant of cars that appear from all the intersections.

On this particular walk, I noticed that poking through the concrete were tiny blades of grass or other such native plants. The first question I thought to myself was, How does that happen? Thick, gray concrete slabs are intentionally placed one layer at a time onto the grass and dirt so that cars can drive on it to get to their destinations. How is it possible that the grass still finds a way to come through? I thought it was the most fascinating thing at the time. Maybe because it’s hard to see anything positive in our polarized world right now. 

To anyone else, it might have been far from a miracle story, and if you don’t sit down and really think about it (the way my introspective mind does) one can argue that it was just an act of nature. The ground shifts; asphalt wears out. I think the guy from Jurassic Park says it best, “Nature finds a way.” But still, I thought about it for the rest of my walk. I think there's more to it. Nature, which encompasses not just plants and animals, but also humans, finds a way. To life. To the sun. To water. To survive. And I used the little plant squeezing through the concrete as a paragon for something positive in spite of something negative, especially for what I had gone through at the end of 2023 and the beginning of 2024, and also what America seems to be going through now. 

Humans are born with the ability to learn, grow, and thrive on the mistakes they made in the past, or the circumstances that befall them at any moment in life. We learn how to handle ourselves and the external painful experiences that may happen. And if we look hard enough, or look in the small spaces that seem to be covered up with a whole lotta bad, then we can find signs that things are still shifting, moving, and never stuck (or in the grass’s case, covered up). 

Nature, us included, can still find a way to just be. We can find a way to survive whatever our circumstances might be. Our concrete problems can be natural disasters that destroy our homes. They can be financial crises or loss of a job that can devastate our bank account and state of mind. They can be drought and famine caused naturally or by war. Whatever the hardship, we can come back from the loss if only we still see the hope squeezing through the bad. 

We are master adapters (we had to be because if we weren’t we would have died out with the saber tooth cats and wooly mammoths) and we grow through the small spaces when they reveal themselves. We make decisions that are best for us at the time and we can take opportunities to see and be grateful for the positive things and people in our lives. We can inhale the scents of fresh air and freshly mowed grass, feel the warm sun on our skin, recognize the sounds of animals, songs of birds, and feel the softness of our pets. These small things, small miracles, can gradually bring our spirits up. 

Sometimes we tend to forget what we have control over and what we don’t. Everything on the news seems devasting and even our own lives sometimes are out of our control. We don’t have a say in those things. But we do have a say in our reaction to them. Keeping journals or lists of those things that are good in our lives makes all the bad things seem not so bad. If we can cling to the good and keep the good in our minds, we will be able to get ourselves above our challenges.

Just like that little blade of grass that somehow got through the concrete jungle that was dropped on top of it, we too can find a way to make any situation into something positive if only we look hard enough for the opportunities. 

logo footer

Heart of Healing
Jacksonville, Florida

Copyright © 2024 • All Rights Reserved
Designed By Ocean Web Design