Attitudes Rule, for Benefit or Detriment
The change happened too quickly. An Attitude of acceptance was still a long way off.
The gray sky seemed more melancholy than usual as I leaned my cane against the bus stop sign and slouched down on the bench. What did I do to feel so miserable?
How could I reclaim the life I’d loved. Disabilities are the end only if you let them be I discovered decades later. I don’t know why it took me so long to see the crucial role Attitudes play. Was I blind? Apparently so, but not now. I can see!
Multiple learning sources
Some Attitude truths I learned in counseling, some I learned in 12 step groups, some I learned from Daili Lama or in church or school. The most unforgettable lessons learned are the ones I learned first hand from experiences in which I suffered the consequences of doing something wrong and then turned around and did it correctly, reaping the benefits.
The example that comes to mind is one in which I made the same mistake continuously over the course of my first seven years of rehab, during which time I was also getting my AA degree. It was an adventurous seven years. Hobbling around the college, leaning heavily on a cane, every time I had occasion to speak with someone beyond a simple greeting, I felt so self conscious about my speech impairment that many times I would explain the reason for my speech impairment.
As long as I assumed an explanation was necessary, my experience bore that out. Books by such authors as Norman Vincent Peal and Maxwell Maltz gave me the courage to question my self defeating assumptions. Daring to act upon my question about the necessity to explain myself proved that the need to explain myself was a fallacy. When I realized I didn’t need to explain myself, it’s like shackles fell from me. I was free to pick up and use the tools questioning my false assumptions had laid at my feet.
I’ve heard it said that we have painful experiences until we learn from them the lessons we’re supposed to learn. Once learned, we can move on to new, perhaps more painful, but perhaps less painful, experiences. Either way, we can count on experiencing pain until all the lessons are learned.
The pain of growing pains is dwarfed by the joy of growth.
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