One of the most common sentences I heard at School as a child. I did have “attitude” even from a very young age, though whether I would call it a problem is debatable.
You see, it’s my Attitude that forms the foundations for the way I cope with pain in my life. It’s my Attitude that’s allowed me to make choices, take back control and make progress beyond expectations (mostly those of others) all my life. In this series of blogs, I’m going to share my approach – “Kicking Pain the As” – and Attitude is the platform on which that process is built.
I choose my Attitude; we all do. Sometimes it is a challenge to choose a positive one, but it is still a choice we can make. If I’m making that sound simple, it’s because I believe it is. I know it’s not always easy, but that’s not the same thing. It is simple, we just make it complicated.
If I choose to take responsibility for my mood, my attitude, my thoughts, then I can have a real impact on the outcome. I can choose to be grumpy or feel sorry for myself; the outcome will be that I feel down, depressed, my pain becomes my focus and I lose my sense of hope.
I can, conversely, choose to be positive and celebrate each good, pain free moment in my day; the outcome will be that I look for the moments of joy, the points in my day that remind me of the wonderful people in my world, the talents I still have (don’t ever underestimate the importance of being able to make good coffee) and the things I’ve achieved.
That’s why I see it as simple – I’d take option two any day. Simple choice.
So how about when it’s really difficult? When I don’t believe there is anything positive? When the pain takes over and all I want to do is say “I’ve had enough” or “This is just not fair”. What then? Then, I choose to allow myself to wobble. I allow myself moments, even whole days to wobble, to say those things and accept it really is not fair. The important thing, is that I set a time limit. It’s my choice to have that wobble, to allow myself time to say “I’m human and I have days where I feel like I can’t take any more” and it’s also my choice to say “wobble over”.
Is it easy? Rarely. More often than not, it requires effort and determination, courage and a few tears, encouragement from others and commitment to my promise to myself, that I would choose my Attitude, take ownership of it and commit to choosing one that is good for my heart, my soul, my family and my journey.