Thursday, June 27, 2013

How I Changed My Attitude

To change my attitude (without wanting to) things had to get pretty bad for me. Go as low as you can. There’s motivation down there. I was motivated, despite my pride, to look for and ask for help – in some obvious places and then eventually in any place I could possibly look. Desperation reigns for awhile. Then suddenly, though of course it wasn’t sudden at all but mind-numbing work, there’s a break, a shift, some response from the Universe, God, whoever to your now not-so-subtle, deafening cries for help. Once the first help shows up, serendipitously it seems (but you know it was meant to come), there seems to be a flood of support.

You soak up the support and you cry a lot from the grief and sadness of your search, and then just pure relief. One day the tears stop and you find yourself happy and satisfied on a nearly daily basis.

At that point, you’re ready to change your attitude. From what to what you don’t know. You just know you can handle and really want that change to happen. And of course the shift has already happened.

My shift came when I accepted my life the way it was. Oh yeah, I have always wanted to improve me, my life. But my bigger challenge was acceptance. And not seeing it as giving up. I accepted my life and me as is, and I began to live each day as its own entity. Not as part of a trend or a pattern, something as a young musician and voracious reader I was always seeking. Just making the most (or least) of what was in front of me.

If I feel especially tired one day, I rest a lot. If I feel energetic, I try to accomplish a few things (not a ton of things, just a do-able chunk).

I got beat the hell up getting to this place. And I also accomplished a lot in getting here, too. And then finally I learned how to let go of long-held desires and expectations of myself. Breathing in the expectations and truly letting them go.

I won’t go into a lot of details here now. I feel like I’ve been writing that story years now. The marking this past May of my 8th anniversary of liver disease dismantled all my defenses. The actual day actually slipped by me unnoticed. Then I began to see the struggles of this past year, and all the pent-up frustration, sadness, and loss for a long time rolled itself into a huge ball I could now fully see. I didn’t want to drag that ball behind me any longer. It was baggage and it held nothing for me to learn from anymore.

It’s gone now, that colorful historical ball, and now each day is fresh, new, another chance to live fully, with or without illness.