We cannot control everything that happens to us in our lives, but we can control the way we choose to respond to everything that happens to us in our lives – for better or worse.

Frankly, for a majority of my life, I constantly chose the latter.

And to a point, I feel as if most of us do.

It’s easier that way, isn’t it? To focus on how things affect us negatively rather than positively? It almost seems as if that is our default mindset -- a lot of the time it is far more difficult to find any upsides compared to the seemingly endless list of downsides whenever things may go differently than we would have liked.

Maybe for you, you’re struggling to find the positive in a nasty breakup or in being laid off or in losing someone dear to you.

Personally, I’m struggling with the former. The person I loved so dearly and affectionately; How could they simply reject it? For what reason have I shown myself to be unworthy of her love?

All I could see was negative. All I could see was all the minor mistakes I made to cause her to leave me. All I could see was how unlovable I was. All I could see was how someone else would win her heart. All I could see was how lonely I’d be now that she was gone.

I may never gain the understanding of why she left, but maybe, I’m a lot better off not knowing.

What I learned after the wake of all this, was just how enslaved I was to her. My entire devotion was given to her and I only realized this once she took herself out of my life. Only then, was I able to see all the damage done because of her and for her.

I was free.

After the pain had started to subside, I began to find happiness again. Now, instead of working to make things better with her, I was working to make things better within myself. Now that my mind wasn’t constantly caught up with her, there was more time for self-improvement and for socializing with other people. I had forgotten how good it felt to talk to other people, to flirt, to be my own person with my individuality. Though in reality, it really was not that long ago when it all happened, but to me, it feels so distant from where I’m at now.

The point is: I found so much good in the aftermath of our breakup. I simply had to be patient and let things progress as they did.

I had to go through heartbreak in order to find the happiness of singleness again. I had to endure pain to find the silver lining that was hidden just beyond the horizon.

I may not know what you’re going through, and I’m not going to try and understand a situation which I know nothing of – but I ask that you avoid my mistakes. Don’t spend a majority of your life focusing on the negatives within the negative times in your life. There are going to be bad days and good days -- truly, our lives are a mixture of both -- but just because things are bleak doesn’t mean you have to be. You may find that one’s outlook is where the difference lies between a good life and a miserable one.