Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Unload Your Emotional Baggage"

When you deal with a serious illness or medical condition, such as coping with the effects and possiblities to come with NF2, attitude is extremely important. It is what makes or breaks you. The measure of your character is not what happens to you but HOW YOU RESPOND to the challenges and obstacles you encounter. A positive attitude will really help carry you through so that you are able to persevere but a pessimistic or negative one will beat you down until it crushes you!

In order to attain the most positive attitude, you must let go of any emotional baggage you are carrying. You have to free yourself. I knew that before I went into surgery, to offer myself the best chance of survival and recovery, I had to learn to forgive. You can't enter a life and death situation with bitterness in your heart. It will literally eat you and cause you to lose the battle. When you are put through something so physically tramatic, you need every ounce of positive energy for your immune system to win the fight.

I will be the first to admit, forgiveness is really not easy nor is keeping a positive attitude at times. However, you have to realize that to get where you want to go, all that other stuff does not matter. The pettyness and things of the past no longer matter and do not have a place in your future.

I get an inspirational newsletter from author Mac Anderson of Simple Truths. This week's words are a nice reminder of where my focus should be. Click on the link and you will see a beautiful slide show on the "Power of Attitude which come with the book.

The following exerpt is from Mac's book "The Power of Attitude".

Our emotions are powerful motivators, and more than almost anything else in our lives they will drive our behavior. Sometimes our greatest challenge is to get inside our own heads to understand what makes us tick. Why do we feel and behave the way we do?
Highly motivated, positive people are focused. The mind is clear, and energy levels are high. Also, many things can hold you back and prevent you from becoming all you can be. One of those things is...Emotional Baggage.
I know two family members who were best friends, but several years ago, one reminded the other of something that had happened thirty years earlier. One thing led to another and, you know what, they haven't spoken since.
Anger or resentment is like a cancer, and when you let it go untreated, it will put an invisible ceiling on your future. You don't know it...but it does.
William Ward identified the cure when he said, “Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the handcuffs of hate.”
Those are powerful words, and I know from personal experience...forgiveness works. A few times in my life I've been greatly wronged and taken advantage of. My first reaction, of course, was anger and resentment. I held it for awhile and felt my stomach tie up in knots, my appetite wane, and the joy slip out of my life. The quote from Ward provided the wake-up call I needed to forgive the person who had wronged me. It was like I had been playing the first half of a basketball game with three-pound steel shoes, and in the locker room the coach said, “Mac, try these new Nikes in the second half.” Multiply that by ten and you'll understand how great it feels to unload your “emotional baggage” through the power of forgiveness.

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