This is a term my therapist has used in the past, and I think I'm finally starting to understand it. To me, it feels like cautiously optimistic is the balance that I lack - the balance between fear and possibility. And boy, do I lack that balance for sure! I live in the fear district, and occasionally visit the possibility district. I rarely, if ever, visit the balanced district though, which is ultimately where I'd like to reside.
Fear. It's a strange thing for me. I know it's got to be part of how I was raised - the oldest kid, a girl, very, very sheltered and overly protected (read: controlled) by my parents. I was raised to be scared of the world. Something as simple as trick-or-treating with friends was a no-no, cause what if something happened? My parents wouldn't be there to "help" me. When I got my license and was driving, I wasn't allowed to go anywhere after dark. It wasn't safe for a girl to be out and about at night.
Hello? Seriously?!? I grew up in a suburban mecca of safety - streetlights, super security, friendly neighbors and stores....... yet, I was trained to be scared of what could happen. Funny thing is, my siblings were not gifted with this curse. They traveled freely wherever and whenever. That meant they could head out after dark- heck, they could head out after midnight, and often did! They are literally world travelers, and have been since high school. Me? I'm a nice, predictable, homebody. To a fault. To the point where I'm still afraid to go out at night sometimes, cause those old tracks start playing, and they trigger my fears, sending me right back inside with The Pup.
So where does cautiously optimistic come into play? It means that fear is healthy, to a degree. It keeps me cautious, and therefore safe. Optimism is the key balance though, as it's time to try and let go of the old fear that the world is unsafe, and instead trust that there is more good than bad out there........ Balance. Always looking for that balance........