Overall we get what we expect. What we get is largely determined by our state of mine---our attitude. If you look for the best you probably will find it. But, if you look for the worst in everything, you’ll probably find that instead.
When Wayne was in the hospital and we weren’t sure if he would make it, I stayed as positive as I could, with a big smile for everyone including my husband. Sometimes it wasn’t easy, but it would have been much more difficult if I had focused on how frightened and uncertain I felt. I had enough people around me believing that he wouldn’t make it, but I remained optimistic. Sometimes the only benefit I could find was that his illness gave me the opportunity to learn caregiving from the best teachers. Luckily, the doctors and nurses at St Vincent’s Hospital in Portland are the best. Without their guidance and education, I couldn’t have handled care for my mother along with my husband in a strange town.
The staff understood my feelings and let me blow off steam. They would put their arms around me and comfort me. Tthey listened to me. They helped me retain my faith that everything would indeed work out for the best. They also helped me come to terms with the possibility that Wayne might not make it.
I felt I had nothing to give them in return, so I tried to give back a little to them by baking cookies for all the nurses and doctors on the seventh floor. I became the cookie lady. Once a week, I would make special Italian cookies and chocolate chip cookies for all the nurses and the dialysis crew. The doctors learned that the dialysis unit was a place to go for snacks. At least I could show my appreciation for all their help. I know it was a small thing, but they enjoyed it and so did I.
Attitude is everything! Even the happiest people get depressed once in a while. Knowing that attitude is so important, we can use this information to help us create a positive attitude. It is just as easy to be positive, as negative. It is your choice. Choose to be happy---positive---it makes life so much better for everyone.
The key to a good attitude is hope. When hope is gone, all is lost. As long as there is hope for the future, you can face anything that is handed you. Hang on to your goal. Work toward it every day. Whether it is to provide a pain-free life for an aging parent or to get a loved one back on his feet again, hold onto the hope, the goal, and the positive attitude and you will succeed.
Emile Coure’, the famous psychotherapist, said that if you simply repeat ,“Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better,” your problems will tend to diminish, your luck will improve and your attitude will become positive. You will have hope for the future.
Keep yourself in a good state of mine---be positive. No matter how you mange it, do it! You will find that when you do, you will be relaxed, easygoing, happy and in control of your life. It sure beats the alternative.
You ask, “How can I be positive, when my world seems to be crumbling around me?”
I say, ask for strength and guidance from a higher power. Put on a positive face until you feel positive, and don’t forget Coue’s words. “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” And you will.
As caregivers you must keep a positive attitude to pass it on to your loved one. No one likes a sour-faced caregiver. We need compassion sympathy and courage to give them hope for a better tomorrow.