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.