Last night an acquaintance called to tell me she wasn’t going to be able to be involved anymore in something we’d been planning together. Why? Because she’d just been diagnosed with cancer.
As she walked me through the details of the responsibilities she was handing off so that she didn’t leave me high and dry, I just stood there in disbelief.
Facing chemo and/or radiation plus possible surgery, she was so calm, cool, and collected. She was cheerful and apologetic. She was thinking of others, instead of panicking or being overwhelmed by fear.
She was choosing joy in the midst of heart-rending circumstances.
I don’t know what you’re facing today. Some of you have probably received gut-wrenching news recently. Maybe you’re struggling with chronic pain or illness. Perhaps you’re spending much of your time caring for a loved one who is dying.
Some of you are in the midst of job loss or drastic pay cuts and you don’t know how you’re going to pay your bills this month or keep food on the table. Many of you are worried about how you’re going to pay for retirement, college, or mounting medical bills.
And there are probably many of you who see no light at the end of this very long tunnel. You’re overwhelmed, scared, and feeling on your last leg.
Maybe you can’t change your circumstances, but you can change your attitude.
You can choose to smile and sing, instead of worry and fret. You can choose to say, “This is hard, this is overwhelming, but I’m not going to give up. I’m going to keep plodding along, keep hoping, keep making the most of everything I have.”
You can choose to be grateful, even if it seems like there’s little to be thankful for. There is always, always, always something to be thankful for. Challenge yourself to make a list of at least five things you can be thankful for. Once you start thinking of things, you’ll probably have trouble stopping at five!
You can choose to focus on what you do have, instead of what you don’t have. You can choose to cling to hope. You can choose joy!