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We cannot always control the events that happen over the course of our lives, but we can choose not to be reduced by what happens to us.
“It has always been my goal not to participate in anxiety, but instead to participate in finding a solution,” said the Rev. Russ Sommerfeld, assistant to the president for church engagement.
Refusing to participate in negativity to the best of our abilities is an important part of a Christian life in action.
“If there is any hope in anyone seeing the grace of God within us it is going to be through positivity,” said CUNE security officer Randy Mabry.
People talk about how God is at the center of their positivity.
“It is important to know that even when you are in your darkest moments, it is not the end of your story because God is the one in control,” said senior Brianna Bianco.
Praying for calmness in the midst of turmoil can play an important part in maintaining a positive attitude as well.
“Finding strength from God to have a calmness so that it can be shared with other people is a very important aspect of being a Christian,” said Sommerfeld.
Mabry said he makes it his mission to instill joy and make it contagious.
Positivity isn’t about being uplifting when it is convenient, but understanding that it is a gift we can share with others even on difficult days.
Late last year Sommerfeld and I were talking about the importance of a mentor, and his words really inspired this column. He emphasized them again recently, saying, “In every role I’ve ever had, I have
had a mentor; that helps me a lot to maintain a semblance of balance and positivity.”
Having someone who loves you for who you are – and recognizing that – can help with positivity.
“If you find a good group of people you can laugh with, be mad with, and cry with, and they support you through all of that, that is worth a lot,” said Bianco.
There are opportunities to find mentorship and friendship all over the place. You just have to be willing to find it.
“You guys are such sparks that it becomes a solid light,” Mabry said about the campus community. “To see that in action is a constant reminder that God loves all of us and loves our future.”
Expressing joy in the gift of service expresses positivity as well.
“Being positive to me means being available to people, being accessible to them,” said Sommerfeld.
Everyone struggles with positivity from day to day, so don’t feel isolated if you struggle to be positive on days when it is hard. “Don’t be afraid to feel your feelings, but know good will come
of everything, even the hard stuff,” said Bianco.
Being kind to yourself is also an important part of the process of building positivity. “The positivity that you have to share must first be shared with you, from you,” Mabry said. “You are your own training ground.”
Even though schedules are busy it is important to take time to recharge and do what you love.
“Constantly giving is exhausting,” Bianco said. “You need to find time for yourself. Whether that means doing a coloring book, putting your favorite movie on, reading a book, or dancing around the kitchen to your favorite music, find something that you love doing. That will help keep your positivity going.”
Positivity isn’t just about the big moments, but about the small ones too. Regardless of your relationship with positivity, there is always room to pack in more positive moments.
But don’t forget that everyone has challenging days. You are not alone in how you feel. Don’t let those challenging days consume your opportunity to show love to yourself and others.