Learning to see the good in the bad.

“Well, see the brighter side of things.”, “Hey, at least it’s not raining.” Why do we say these things to ourselves and others? Are we trying to be optimistic in the face of sadness or loss? Is this being naïve or is it a coping mechanism?

Over the past year-plus of Coronavirus, between isolation, illness, loss and picking up the pieces of broken friendships, relationships, and lives, we have all had our share of devastation. How do we look outside and smile at what we emerge to?

Viktor Frankl, the 20th-century psychologist, who he himself had lost his parents, wife and brother in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany coined the phrase of “tragic optimism”. He stated in his work Man’s Search For Meaning, tragic optimism is “ an optimism in the face of tragedy and in view of the human potential which at its best always allows for: (1) turning suffering into a human achievement and accomplishment; (2) deriving from guilt the opportunity to change oneself for the better; and (3) deriving from life’s transitoriness an incentive to take responsible action.”

What does Frankl mean by this? There is an opportunity to find hope and meaning in life after tragic events.

First, we should not force ourselves to experience only the good and happy in the world. You cannot take someone who is crying and force them to laugh, you can’t thrust a bouquet of flowers in their face and tell them to see the beauty, nor can you hand a stuffed animal into the hands of a child who has lost their whole family in a car accident and expect the child to latch on and hug it. An appreciation of the good in the world will come, but there must be time to grieve.

Second, conversely, you cannot have a person sit in a dark room with a candle reflecting on old photographs. Leaving someone to wail for the rest of their life in front of an altar made of the belongings of a loved one is also unhealthy. Every person, in every culture mourns losses in their own ways, and it is healthy to let them, but do not leave them there too long, they may forget what the sun feels like.

To be tragically optimistic is to allow the person their time, but also to help them, when they are comfortable, to deal with this loss or tragedy in their own way. Some of us will find speaking about the loss as therapeutic, some will write the loved one a letter, and some will find a way to honor the lost one by doing good deeds in their name.

Some find comfort in speaking positive affirmations: “I have learned to overcome this loss and I have adapted to move forward and do good things in spite of it.” “I accept there are things that I cannot change in my life.”

Sometimes our tragic optimism can spawn something else…post traumatic growth…

19 Responses

  1. 1xbet México se encarga de darle a sus clientes todos los beneficios para que estos puedan aprovechar de todos los rincones de la plataforma. bono de bienvenida 1xbet Todo esto, siempre que cada usuario se encuentre previamente registrado/a en el sistema. Esto ayuda a la empresa a llevar la cuenta de cuántas veces es utilizado cada código por una misma persona, ya que solo se aplican los mismos una vez, al momento de realizar le proceso de registro. El Codigo Promocional 1xbet México debe ser ingresado al momento de realizar le proceso de registro, así como el de verificación de cuenta e identidad. Es importante mencionar que los códigos promocionales suelen variar con el tiempo, dependiendo de las condiciones y términos de los mismos.

  2. Промокоды 1xBet на сегодня. Получите бесплатно при регистрации бонус. Активируйте промокоды и делайте ставки на футбол, хоккей и самые яркие состязания – Лиги Европы и Лиги Чемпионов.рабочий промокод 1xbet на сегодня Отличительная особенность букмекера – возможность использования промокодов при регистрации или для активных клиентов, уже имеющих учетную запись. Они обеспечивают двойной депозит, бесплатную ставку (фрибет), специальный бонус на день рождения и многое другое. Актуальные бонусные коды для новичков за регистрацию, способы получения и активации, bonus программа на официальном сайте букмекера 1хБет. Бесплатные промокоды при регистрации в 2023 году в 1xBet.

  3. I was very pleased to uncover this great site. I need to to thank you for ones time for this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every bit of it and I have you bookmarked to look at new information on your blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Get Access to 4 Top Personality Tests

Learn more about yourself.