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I’m not sure when it happened or how it happened but I’ve been receiving many compliments lately for having a positive heart. Strangers are coming up to me in social settings and commenting how hopeful my view on life is. The shower me with many compliments, pointing out my fabulous sense of humour and the way I see good in everything.

It took some time, but I no longer get embarrassed by their kind words. I have learned to humbly accept them as gifts. There are moments where I still don’t believe them, but I am learning to be grateful and just say thank you.

I can’t say I’ve ever been overly pessimistic. Sure, I dabbled in it, but who hasn’t? I also admit that I have gossiped on occasion and have enjoyed the art of sarcasm, but I don’t believe I was ever a true cynic. Not in the truest sense of the world. I don’t believe I have ever disgraced myself as much or have ever flown so low.

I have very little interest in who I used to be. The man I used to know, did not have an ounce of energy I carry with me throughout the day, nor did he ever wake up with so much pep and purpose in the morning.

I have somehow grown and harvested a very positive heart.

A positive heart is not something you’re just born with. It’s something you have to build and grow.

There was a time, not so long ago, when I took my talents for granted. I have been shy and lonely my whole life. Being prickly and judgemental was a way I could protect myself against critics and hide away from the world. It worked but the cost I bore has been too great.

In my shyness and loneliness I neglected and ignored my love of writing. I focused on the wrong things. I never thought any of it was important. I felt I wasn’t good enough. I never took the time or cared to nurture my writing.

I certainly never felt compelled to share it. Not like now.

Throughout my life many people have been encouraging. They tried to show me the greatness that lied dormant deep inside of me. They were very nice, but it was me who kept stubbornly looking down at my feet. It was me who pretended he wasn’t good enough. I lied that I couldn’t. Shouldn’t. It was me who hoped that if I only waited patiently enough, long enough, that eventually, somewhere, someone, some benevolent benefactor, would peer deep inside my heart and hand me my dreams.

Little did I know there are no benevolent benefactors.

Little did I know that the person who would see deep inside my heart would be me.

Having a positive heart is not easy.

It is not an investment. It is something that you can lose or win at any time.

I am not really sure what has happened to me. All I know is that I’ve never felt such tremendous joy or enjoyed such an overwhelming sense of living.

It’s hard to be negative when your eyes are open, you surround yourself with like minded people, you focus on the good in the world.

I’m not blind to the darkness.

I know its there.

I know it waits and relentlessly pursues us.

But.

It will not pursue us any less if we choose to be negative.

So its much better to be positive.

Much better to be hopeful.

Much better to grow a positive heart.