Attitude of Gratitude

21 February 2012

I have thought a lot this past week of trials and hardships. I have watched people I love going through difficult things and have felt so much sorrow for them.  I know that same empathy and love has been felt and shown to my family and me so much over the last nine months (yes, last Wednesday marked the nine month mark!)  It’s been so interesting to see how people handle the tests the Lord gives to them.  So many are so humble and valiant…knowing that none of us are getting out of this life without experiencing the Refiner’s fire.  I have also seen others face trial with bitterness and anger.  This makes me so sad, because I know it’s easy to do…it’s our natural tendency.  But when I feel my ‘human’ side of me start to wonder why, or feel angry that Tyler has to go through this, I remember that this attitude isn’t going to change one thing. It only makes what we’re going through feel even worse.  Being angry about it isn’t going to make it go away faster, nor is it going to make the outcome better.  It could, in fact, make the outcome even worse.  As far as health issues go, there is plenty of research that shows that attitude makes a huge difference in our physical health.  We all have to know Tyler has that going for him.  He was recently interviewed for a teenage magazine (I’ve forgotten the name) but I wasn’t with him for the interview and they just sent me the proof to make sure I was okay with what was said.  I couldn’t believe what I read.  Here are just a few questions and answers:

Q:  “How is your life different now than it was before you had cancer?  How so?”

Tyler:  “The things that I care about the most are different – before cancer I cared a lot about sports, being popular…stuff like that.  Now I care more about my relationships with my family and my friends.”

Q: “People are constantly complaining about one thing or another.  How do you always seem so upbeat and positive despite your current situation?”

Tyler:  “Well, I could complain, but it wouldn’t change my situation…so I decided to just not talk about it.  I can either be happy and feel sick, or just feel sick.  I choose to be happy.”

Q:  “What do you want people to know about you?”

Tyler:  “That I’m always happy and I’m trying to make the best of a hard situation.”

Q:  “Finally, what message he would like to leave the reader with?”

Tyler: “We all have to go through hard things, whether we like it or not.  The way we choose to handle them determines our character and also helps us to get through them better.  If I can help someone who is going through something hard to find the positive in the situation, then I feel better about going through what I’m going through.”

Wow…a lesson for his mother, again.  I wasn’t there for the interview…no one coached him on what to say.  These are Tyler’s own words and feelings.  I feel so honored and blessed to be his mother.  Actually, I feel that way about all of my kids!  They are all so much wiser and stronger than I am.  I am sure they were sent to me because Heavenly Father knew I was going to need a lot of help down here!

Okay, quote time!  🙂 A friend put this quote on Facebook and I loved it.  Thanks Dirk!  Not sure it really goes with what I wrote about today, but it is a great answer for making each day more enjoyable!

“The best antidote I know for worry is work.  The best medicine for despair is service.  The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired.” – Gordon B. Hinckley

He is my favorite…I have quotes from him taped all over my house and look to them when I feel sadness and discouragement creep into my life.  I am grateful that there is one who knows my sorrows.  Christ knows me personally and has atoned for my sadness and fear. There is no grief, no pain, and no sickness that His Atonement and His Love cannot heal.  When it feels like too much, I always know that His arms are wrapped around our family and He is there to comfort us.  Of that, I cannot ever deny.  I hope whatever heartache you may be feeling, you can receive this witness as well.  He is there for all.


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