Saturday, May 14, 2011

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Two steps forward, one step back. I used to use this saying a lot. When women are pushing out those babies progress can seem slow for some. They push with all their might and move that baby closer to delivery. But then, when they relax, a little of that progress may be lost. I would often explain it as, two steps forward, one step back. Progress was still being made, and they needed to focus on that, not the small movement in the opposite direction. As any good labor and delivery nurse knows.....part of the job is being a cheerleader! Push! Push! Push! (Rah! Rah! Rah!). Great job! You are making great progress! (Go Team!). See, sometimes it is all about attitude. Imagine the mom pushing her heart out and the nurse just standing there and then saying, "Really? Is that the best you can do? You will never get that baby out." Most women would quickly become exhausted and beaten down. With a cheerleader by her side she is more likely to rest between the contractions and come back energized for the next one. Attitude matters. Want proof? The following was a study related to heart attack patients. Researchers had 2,800 heart disease patients fill out a questionnaire that asked whether they thought they could recover from the disease and return to a normal life.
After 15 years, 1,637 of the patients had died. Of those deaths, 885 (54 percent) were due to heart disease. Patients who had an optimistic outlook were 30 percent less likely to die during the follow-up period, said the researchers from Duke University Medical Center.

I will admit, I tend to be a positive person.  But what if you aren't? What if the cup always looks half empty to you? Well, that doesn't mean you can't learn to have a positive outlook. I don't believe I am innately positive. I have to actively seek out the positive aspects of certain situations. I have to shove the negative thoughts to the side and focus on the positive. This does not come naturally for me, it is a learned behavior. And anyone can learn it.
Happiness is an attitude.  We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong.  The amount of work is the same.  ~Francesca Reigler

This week has definitely been a step backwards for me. But not the two steps backward it could have been. So I have slept, rested, enjoyed a couple of books, and have had a break from cooking. More planning, less doing. Not such a bad thing really. And the weather has cooperated by being the kind that makes you want to stay in curl up with a good book anyway. While I had this extra time I decided to find a bible verse that spoke to this. Here is one I found. If this doesn't encourage one to look for the bright side of things, I don't know what will!
"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."
Proverbs 17:22 ESV

Ugh! I think I'll keep working on that joyful heart! How about you?
Blessings ~Marla

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