By Bob Haynes


AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE AFFECTS OUR ALTITUDE…LET THE BATTLE BEGIN! I read the following the other day and would like to share with you. Eleanor Roosevelt wrote.... “You gain the strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Of course, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Brian Tracy, an expert in maintaining a positive attitude, once wrote: “We are all faced with four obstacles that tend to get in the way of our maintaining a Positive Mental Attitude. These obstacles are fear, worry, anger and doubt. When things are not working out as we expected, our immediate response is to become fearful and uneasy.”

I find that my circumstance today is exactly what Eleanor and Brian were talking about. Faced with the news of a new cancer tumor found in my last PET scan, I was once again at square one in confronting a new crossroads requiring some form of action or inaction.

So, things had not worked out as I had planned and my immediate response was fear that the entire fight that I had undergone had not been successful. However, I simply could not let myself spend time thinking of my efforts and my treatment as useless.

Therefore, I had to take charge of my “attitude” in order to elevate my “altitude” in terms of looking at the accomplishments resulting from my six-month ordeal. Those who have not experienced the trauma of chemotherapy and/or radiation and their effects will no doubt have difficulty understanding the depth of overcoming cancer as an adversary, but believe me when I say cancer is a formidable adversary.

As Brian Tracy wrote, “The only real antidote to fear, worry, anger and doubt is positive action toward the achievement of some worthwhile ideal.” His words reminded me that psychologists say that the key to dealing effectively with life is what they call the “cognitive control method” which says that you can really think about, and concentrate on, only one thing at a time, either positive or negative. In my case, the choice was clear. I had to decide to concentrate on the positives of my circumstance and they are numerous. Doing so would allow me to rid myself of doubt.

So I looked at the fact that I was still here, I was breathing easier, that no cancer was presently active in my lungs, and that a massive tumor some four and a half inches in diameter had been reduced to zero. In fact, the only negative I received from chemo and radiation treatments was that one or more individual cancer cells were able to break away and find their way into my blood stream.

Other great positives included the fact that my columns are still being read and that I was getting positive responses from a number of readers that they had been helpful. Thus, I concluded, my work is not yet done.

I carry in my billfold a small card with the title “Principles of Attitudinal Healing.” As I glanced at this card today I found this quote: “Health is inner peace. Healing is letting go of fear.” So my response is “Let round two of this battle begin” because I will have an attitude of gratitude and a positive approach to overcome my fears and doubts.

In closing I’d like to once again use the conversation between “Pooh” and “Piglet” in order for us to totally understand A.A. Milne’s meaning. “Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh!” he whispered. “Yes, Piglet?” “Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw. “I just wanted to be sure of you.” Shalom!

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