Is There Gratitude in Your Attitude?
On the best of days, there’s no better Attitude than laughter, but then there are those days of fear or self pity when laughter sounds like an incoming hand grenade.
There were days when I never laughed. I couldn’t laugh. And anyone else’s laugher seemed directed at me. Fears, real and imagined, stole my joy.
.Attitudes of fear, self pity and resentment isolated me from the rest of the world, denying me the simplest of pleasures. I didn’t realize it, but the Attitudes of self pity kept real laughter out of reach. In my world, the only laughter was sarcastic or at someone else’s expense.
Ditch the “Pity Party”
When the speech therapist saw me laying on the hospital floor soaking up as much pity as possible, her gentle command rearranged my reality. I haven’t always remembered to do it, but since hearing her admonition and giving it a try, I’ve known the value of focusing on what I have instead of what I don’t have.
This simple step was the first of several that lessened my fears by helping me to accept and gradually change my formerly unacceptable reality. Other people’s laughter quit sounding menacing.
Before changing, through an Attitude of acceptance, I stubbornly tried to justify my feelings of depression and loss. When I learned to open my eyes and mind to the sufferings and losses of others on the rehab floor, I couldn’t justify feeling that I had it so bad. And if I did continue feeling that I had it so bad, simply thinking about people upstairs in the burn unit snapped me out of my self-inflicted sadness.
Today, I thank God for keeping me from being isolated with an Attitude of Gratitude that helps me to:
Focus on what I have instead of what I don’t have.
Be thankful for what I have.
Give my smile to someone without a smile.
Some of the best advice I ever got was to
Lighten up by seeing the big picture, including other people’s situations. Quit taking yourself so seriously. Life is not all about you.”
Changing my attitude marked:
- The beginning of the end of my isolation.
- The beginning of my being set free from thinking other people were laughing at me.
- The beginning of my learning the joy of caring about others.
You can learn more about Al, and more from Al in his book, Achieving No Limits – Embracing Change