Posted in Patients

Sentiments on Attitude

headbanner

Attitude is defined as someone’s disposition, feeling, or position toward a person, thing, or situation.  Our attitude is so important, it can be determining factor whether we live or die.  Viktor Frankl, a concentration camp survivor, summed up the importance of attitude this way, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  To choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.”

My attitude is controlled by my heart and mind.  As the proverbs say, “As a man thinks, so is he.”  It is necessary for me to develop positive mental habits, such as meditation and prayer, to change my thinking and attitude.  By practicing these, I can tap into a higher energy that can help me grow in my ability to maintain an optimistic attitude.

My attitude is directly affected by how much control I perceive to have of my life.  When I don’t think I have control in my life, I get emotional, frustrated, and angry.  Because of my ailment, I don’t have complete control over my body.  I gain inner peace when I release control of my life’s worries.

I’ve decided to have an attitude of acceptance about situations I can’t change.  For example, I can’t always get up and go wherever and whenever I want to.  The effectiveness of my medication plays a key role in when and what activities I’m going to engage in.  I have to carefully plan my day, watching what I eat, so I can be mobile when I need to be.  In the past, when I had to get dressed for work, sometimes my medication wouldn’t be working and I would get frustrated and stressed out.  I was afraid I’d be late to work, compounded by the terrible ache of rigidity that filled my body, I was miserable.  My attitude is different now.  I realize there is not much I can do if my medicine is not working.  The only options I have are to either take more meds or wait for what I have taken to kick in.  I accepted the fact I have limitations and I need to work within them.

A spark of the divine lives in everyone.  Knowing this encourages me to elevate my thinking from a physical level, to a spiritual one.  I strive to be made new in the attitude of my mind and trusting in the power that controls the universe.  And although I have limitations, these are not without purpose.

My attitude has changed toward my hardship, because I know that difficulty has a purpose – to strengthen my character and to make me a better person.  Struggling with difficulty is a necessary part of life, it’s unavoidable.  For it is through difficulty and overcoming adversity I find knowledge, light, compassion, and purpose.  Thus, Parkinson’s is a catalyst to change my attitude and help me grow.

Since my thoughts and emotions directly affect my attitude, I need to keep my thoughts focused on what is good.  The Ten Sentiments are powerful qualities to meditate on as I divest my mind of unworthy, negative thinking.  The Bible lists virtues I should instead set my mind on: whatever is true, pure, noble, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy.  When I fully embrace these wonderful virtues, I am able to grow in the most positive of all attitudes, an attitude of love.  Love is the most powerful force in the universe.

Advertisements
Posted in Patients

Sentiments on Perseverance

headbanner

Perseverance is defined as a steady tenacity in purpose or a course of action – especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.  It requires determination to actively seek, and hold on to, what is good.  Perseverance is, in spite of slipping and falling or getting knocked down, having the internal fortitude to get back up, again, again, and again.

Perseverance is a virtue that can be developed.  If you are faint of heart, be encouraged, you can grow in your perseverance – but, understand this, it will not be easy.  For there is only one way to develop perseverance – and that is by enduring hardship.

Irving Stone has spent a lifetime studying greatness, writing biographies of such men as Michelangelo, Vincent van Gogh, Sigmund Freud and Charles Darwin.  Stone was once asked if he had found a thread that runs through the lives of all these exceptional people.  He said, “I write about people who sometime in their life…have a vision or dream of something that should be accomplished…and they go to work.  They are beaten over the head, knocked down, vilified and for years they get nowhere.  But every time they’re knocked down they stand up.  You cannot destroy these people.  And at the end of their lives they’ve accomplished some modest part of what they set out to do.” (Crossroads, Issue No. 7, p. 18.)  These people are some of the many great examples of perseverance we can use to encourage our spirits.

President Calvin Coolidge had an interesting quote about perseverance in Bits and Pieces saying, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

According to Coolidge, the virtue of perseverance can solve the world’s problems.  Perhaps he’s right, but I can’t solve the problems of the human race.  All I can try to do is encourage people to persevere.  And if I’m determined, maybe I can have some positive influence in my part of the world.  To do so, however, I would need to have a strategy to help me persevere.

When adversity from Parkinson’s gets me down, sometimes I feel like giving up – one time I even wanted to hurt myself.  On this occasion, my medication was not working, and I was rigid and unable to move – almost paralyzed.  My muscles were tense causing severe discomfort.  I was in pain and I wanted it to stop.  I felt like there was no way I could live with this constant ache and stiffness.  I was telling myself the battle was too hard and it was too difficult to endure the pain.  I wanted to die.

But, I recalled a decision I had made earlier.  I was not going to make an emotional decision when I was physically not feeling well.  I told myself that, when I didn’t feel good, I would remember how well I felt when my medicine was working and how much I desired to live.  I needed to remind myself that life was worth living and that I had a lot to look forward to.  I know that these moments of suffering are temporary and will pass.  I must hold on to what is good.

So, this was my strategy, to not make any big decisions when I’m racked with pain.  I decided to make decisions only when I’m in the right frame of mind.  When I feel like I want to quit, to remind myself, I’ve already made the decision that I’m going to resist my negative thoughts and that I really want to live.  I decided to recall how much better I feel when my medication is working and that the pain is only temporary.  I need to go by what I know to be right, not by my emotions.  I won’t allow the physical pain of my disease or adversity to overwhelm me.

Posted in Patients

The Ten Sentiments

Slide1

The Ten Sentiments:  virtues to live by

        Perseverance 
        Acceptance
        Resilient
        Keep moving
        Intrepidness  
        New perspective
        Stay positive
        Overcome adversity
        New beginnings
        Stay strong

Copyright © 2016, William Wilson, All rights reserved