Blogging on The Brightside

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." -The Little Engine That Could

“Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.”

— Lyn Yutang

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“May the love hidden deep inside your heart find the love waiting in your dreams. May the laughter that you find in your tomorrow wipe away the pain you find in your yesterdays.”

— Irish Blessing



“Why do we fall, Bruce? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

Preamble: I was going to recycle an old post with the same basic message, because I wasn’t sure how this would be received. But some of these posts (including this one) we write for ourselves and share with you.  They help Carly and me to positively focus our own minds or each others minds, something I must actively practice.  We publish these posts so that you can practice along.

*spoiler alert* for those of you who have yet to see (and shame on you) the Dark Knight Rises.

Let’s go back to the beginning of the trilogy- when Bruce Wayne falls into the well on the property owned by his wealthy parents.  As his father carries him back into the mansion he asks, “Why do we fall, Bruce?  So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

Flash forward to the Dark Knight Rises.  A battered Bruce Wayne rehabilitates in an underground dungeon- a jail housed in a massive pit in the middle of some mysterious desert.  The tenured prisoners who attend to Wayne, tell him that the only person to escape the prison climbed the walls of the ancient edifice. After having his broken back set, his broken ribs healed, and  with some ghetto-style P90x under his belt, Wayne attempts the climb with a tattered rope around his waist.  Climbing several stories up the walls of the pit, Wayne is confronted with an insane horizontal jump.  He misses the ledge on the other side and falls several hundred feet until the slack in the rope tightens.

More rehabilitation and more calisthenics foreshadow Wayne’s second attempt.  In an exhibition of courage, Wayne scales the walls again.  This time, he makes the horizontal leap, and his fingers grasp the edge but slide off.  He falls, and the rope tightens around his waist, his body breaking around it.

While he is training harder than ever, a prisoner approaches Wayne to tell him that it is not his body that needs to overcome the leap.  Instead, Wayne must become the master of his fears.  Wayne implores the old prisoner to explain more, since he is not afraid to die.  That is the point.  The prisoner who escaped was a young child who did not use a rope.

Wayne tries the climb one last time, this time without a rope.  He scales the wall and attempts the leap, this time nailing it.

What’s the point?  Sometimes we fail.  Sometimes those failures are particularly painful, and we break around the rope that is holding us off the ground.  We can take the lessons we learned from that attempted climb and keep them in our mind for motivation during the next climb.  With new focus and strength from our training, we can make another valiant attempt.  But we can fall again, and if we know the rope will be there to catch us, then we are likely to rely on it, even just a little.  And it is that reliance, that expectation that things will be okay if we fail again, that stop us from achieving our goals.  Our safety net, the insurance of our well-being, becomes our hinderance.  The dual-edge to the sword is that our fear of failure, knowing that all could be lost, is sometimes the motivation we need to accomplish the seemingly impossible.  It is in knowing that failure is not an option that we are most likely to find success.

“Why do we fall, Bruce?  So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

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“Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.”

— Bill Cosby

While I was tempted to make a good Jell-O pudding or ugly sweater reference, this is one of my favorite quotes when it comes to dealing with a particularly difficult situation.

When we are faced with something difficult, we all go through a tough time. Sometimes it’s five stages, and sometimes it is just one day at a time, taking life as it comes unsure of the stage or time of day. We need to remember that even in those moments when it feels like being sad is the only good idea we have, a smile or a laugh can be the difference between healing and irreparable damage.

Be sad. Cry. Scream. And then, realize that smiling or laughing until you cry can help more than you’ll ever know. Be there for yourself.

As I try to end this post, I can’t help but think of a favorite song…

Smile though your heart is aching. Smile even though it’s breaking. When there are clouds in the sky you’ll get by. If you smile with  your fear and sorrow. Smile and maybe tomorrow, you’ll find that life is still worthwhile if you just smile.

Love and light,


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“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

— Anne Frank

This weekend, I was awake in the wee hours of the morning talking with my best friend. Our conversation went just about everywhere you can imagine. There came a point in which the conversation shifted to dealing with some of the toughest moments of our lives. He reminded me that, “The two of us have been faced with more than most people our age. We’ve dealt with more than anyone should.”

And still, even after all this time, we find the good in our lives. Even when faced with the same struggles time and time again, wearing away our resistance to negativity, we stood strong. More importantly, we stood together.

We are young. We have time. It is our decision to live life without regrets. Anyone can wake up tomorrow and decide that they are choosing to be happy from this point on. Do not allow yourself to be changed by hardships and defeat.

See the good in the world and see the good in yourself. Remind yourself of how far you’ve come and keep the faith that you will come through whatever life sends your way. Find people who will share your love of life and support you through thick and thin. It makes all the difference.

From one friend to another, you matter. You are you, not what happens to you. Start this week (and the rest of your life) with the decision to be happy. You make the choice… so choose to make the most of your one and only life.

Love and Light,


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“Expectation is the root of all heartache.”

— William Shakespeare

Don’t let the picture in your head obscure the view from your eyes. Don’t get hung up on “supposed to.” Go with the flow.

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“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.”

— Edward O. Wilson

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“When you have come to the edge Of all light that you know And are about to drop off into the darkness Of the unknown, Faith is knowing One of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or You will be taught to fly”

— Patrick Overton

Spread your wings and take flight.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about the darkness in our lives, it is that beautiful things can come from it– the stars, the light in our own being, a beacon of light from someone else. Use the unknown and fill it with your optimistic spirit.


“Instead of worrying about what people say of you, why not spend time trying to accomplish something they will admire?”

Dale Carnegie

Did you know that van Gogh sold only one painting his entire life?  The sale was to a friend for a small sum.  The rest of his beautiful works, including the iconic “Starry Night” only brought proper recognition after his death and now sell for millions.

Sometimes people are a little slow to catch on to the brilliant job your doing.  Spend some of your energy making them understand;  Spend the rest being brilliant.


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Go the Distance


I have often dreamed
Of a far off place
Where a hero’s welcome
Will be waiting for me
Where the crowds will cheer
When they see my face
And a voice keeps saying
This is where I’m meant to be

I will find my way
I can go the distance
I’ll be there someday
If I can be strong
I know every mile
Will be worth my while
I will go most anywhere
To feel like I belong

Down an unknown road
To embrace my fate
Though that road may wander
It will lead me to you
And a thousand years
Would be worth the wait
It might take a lifetime
But somehow I’ll see it through

And I won’t look back
I can go the distance
And I’ll stay on track
No I won’t accept defeat
It’s an uphill slope
But I won’t lose hope
Till I go the distance
And my journey is complete
But to look beyond the glory is the hardest part
For a hero’s strength is measured by his heart

Like a shooting star
I will go the distance
I will search the world
I will face its harms
I don’t care how far
I can go the distance
Till I find my hero’s welcome
Waiting in your arms…

I will search the world
I will face its harms
Till I find my hero’s welcome
Waiting in your arms


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