When I injured my spine years ago, my brain was filled with negativity. I remember telling myself how unfair it was that I would have to deal with this injury from such an early age and to make matters worse, life just started kicking me even harder when I was already down. As many of you reading this already know, I had quite the “unlucky streak” after my injury. Shortly after my discharge, I had my second surgery which was completely unsuccessful. My parents finalized their divorce two weeks later and my father was diagnosed with motor-neuron disease on the same day which was later confirmed to be ALS…But no matter how difficult my life seemed to get I began to realize how powerful my perspective really was. I started reframing the way I thought about the obstacles I faced by putting the word “but” at the end of a negative thought and adding something positive after it…
For example, My injury sucked but it definitely could have been worse. I walk with a limp but at least I can still walk. The second surgery didn’t give me much relief but the third one definitely did. My parents finalized their divorce but they are both incredibly happy now. My father was diagnosed with a terminal illness but he has used it as a tool to inspire others.
That’s when I realized that we can’t always control difficulties the world throws at us but we can always control how we let it impact our lives…
By adding the word “but” followed my something positive to a negative statement, it completely changed my outlook. Suddenly I felt so much more confident in my ability to overcome the obstacles that I faced. With that simple change I stopped thinking about how “unfair” life was and started to appreciate how fortunate I really was…
By: Timothy A. Natale
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