Appreciating What We Have

As my heart goes out to those suffering on the East Coast in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I cannot help but compare it to my own challenge of walking with Bill as he copes with his illness.

This has been a week of fear and self-pity for me, as I’m sure it has been for those who lost so much in the storm. When I stop to ponder my fear I am reminded once again that fear is usually based on what might happen versus what is happening.  Someone once said that depression is based on the past; anxiety is about the future.

When Bill was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I thought I would lose him within six months. Only 16% of make it past the first year. Twenty months later he is still here and doing pretty well, despite the internal progression. I am learning every day to appreciate what we have. I have already had him with me 14 months more than expected. How great is that?

With every fiber of willpower, I have to remind myself that the Law of Attraction says that you get more of what you focus on. If I focus on what might transpire, I can’t concentrate and I cannot sleep. Such is the power of fear.  When I have the wherewithal to focus on how much I appreciate that he’s still here with me, things get better instantly.

There are many reactions to the aftermath of Storm Sandy. Every stage of grief will be present: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Bill and I go through one or all of these stages every time we receive the news about his latest CT Scan. What’s important is what we choose to focus on: what we’ve lost or might lose, or what we have.

I am not suggesting that anyone ignore his or her pain. Mine is ever present, lurking just beneath the surface. What I am suggesting is that the more we appreciate what we have, the better life is, even in the face of deep pain.

This morning Bill and I went to two medical appointments. The thing I remember most vividly is the feeling of love that swept over me every time we were walking and he reached for my hand.

Whatever your Hurricane Sandy might be, focusing on what you appreciate will lighten the load considerably.

Change your focus; change your life!

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