In the laundry room this morning, we met up with one of the residents. This person is unfailingly polite, but their attitude is overwhelmingly negative. If one suggests that the day promises to be a beauty, this individual will unfailingly find some negative aspect upon which to comment - "It's supposed to rain later," or "It might look nice, but it's probably cold," or some other remark full of doom, gloom or depression.
I feel for this poor miserable soul, unable to take any delight in life. I recall all to clearly just how dismal the world appeared to me before my attitude change in Al-Anon. When it was first suggested to me that I had a choice with regard to my attitude, I thought the speaker a hopeless Pollyanna. I believed that those of who saw the world through an unremittingly negative filter were the realists of life, and those who were cheerful were naïve. After all, with all that I'd been through as a small child, how could I be expected to have a positive attitude?
I encountered almost those very words in a recent conversation with one of my sisters. I was talking to her about how much more satisfying life is, when one has a positive attitude, and works to practise gratitude for one's blessings, rather than seek to find all that life is supposedly missing. She sighed heavily, and said, "Yes, but with our childhoods, how can you have a positive attitude?" She hasn't lived with her adoptive parents (the three of us were all adopted separately, that was the policy back then) for 40 years, yet she is still using them as reason for her largely negative attitude. I will occasionally get the shivers talking with her, and it's only because in her I see who I would have been without the changed attitude I learned in Al-Anon. I am so hugely grateful for all those who patiently repeated themselves as I tried my best to prove them wrong in their cheerful outlook.
I have been given such enormous blessings in my life, and one of the greatest of those is love, the love of my delightful Robert, whose patience, tolerance, and humour make him such a treat. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to come home to an empty apartment after surgery. I know my friends would have rallied around to help me, but I was lucky beyond words, I had a man whom I adore, who loves me the same way, and just being able to spend more time with him made me feel better physically. The body-mind connection is a mystical one.
Program has allowed me to deal with cancer by living one day at a time, and not terrifying myself with possibilities. It will be what it will be. My faith makes me willing to accept and to be grateful. There are no guarantees in life. I'm happy and serene today, and that's enough.