Attitude makes all the difference in difficult times

Throughout the past five years of my life I have often been asked how I can have such positive attitude all the time. Let?s face it. I have an advanced stage, stigmatized, kind of embarrassing cancer that nobody wants to talk about.

Having anal cancer is no picnic and I must be honest and tell you that I have had some very dark and painful days over the last half decade.

But for me they have been brief, few and far between. I have learned that happiness is a choice and in my moments of despair I make a conscious effort to stop and choose to be happy. To find the good in all situations isn?t easy.

It takes practice, and lots of it. I figured if I only had a few years left there was no sense in me living out my days miserable and bitter. That would result in the people around me being pained and angered as well.

Attitude is highly contagious. One of my favorite quotes is from the movie ?Remember the Titans,? released in 2000. If you?ve never seen the film, it is the true story of a high school football team and the first season as a racially integrated unit.

The team captains are struggling to except each other and there is fighting amongst the players. In an exchange of words and blame one says to the other ?Attitude reflects leadership?captain.?

That statement really struck me as applicable in any life situation. We are the ?captains? of our lives. Yes, our outlook throughout life?s struggles matters a great deal. It?s not just about how others see us but what we reflect back to them.

In surviving cancer or any trouble that comes your way, I think attitude is everything. You have to choose to live everyday. If you don?t, you will be dying everyday. And who wants to do that?

The way I see it, nobody knows the number of their days. Live each one, facing each and every day looking for the joy and the good every moment can bring.

What?s my plan? Reflect a joyous, happy attitude in my life regardless of my circumstance no matter how much, or how little, time I am granted.

More from Michele Longabaugh
When you?re told you have cancer, life changes
Editor?s note: With this issue we welcome Michele Longa?baugh, a friend of...
Read More