Quality of life determined within our own minds

For about the 10th time, I just read all the comments left about quality of life, for which I again thank all. Each message unique in its own way showing how we determine quality of life truely is a personal and individual choice.

In one sense we live our lives in our heads. Our brain/mind controls everything from our bodily functions to our minds containing all of our thoughts and feelings which affect and control how we view life, our own lives and the world in general. So very much is dependant on attitude.
Our thoughts, our feelings and our attitude towards things can evolve and change over the years. The way my own thinking and attitude has evolved over the years is a perfect example of that. I look at my life today. While I am not happy about the many limitations on what I can or can’t do, I have been able to grudgibly come to terms with it. Reach a level of acceptance, coming to appreciate what I have as opposed to fretting about what I do not have in terms of physical limitations. With that acceptance, the way I view the quality of my life improved greatly. How my thinking has changed is. If say 40 years ago when I was young, tough, strong and stupid, if someone described my current quality of life and asked me if that would be acceptable. I know I would have laughed and said, if I ever get like that just take me out and shoot me. Meaning in my mind back then I thought it would be totally unacceptable, today I can accept and be relatively comfortable with. Got one one of my rambles there, hope it made sense.

I heard this somewhere: “one of mankind’s greatest strengths is our ability to so quickly adapt, one of mankind’s greatest weaknesses is our ability to so quickly adapt.” That I suppose is what I have been doing adapting to my ever changing reality of life. I can’t change whatever is my current reality, I have no control over it. All I can control is how I deal with it. I can accept it, allowing myself to reach a level of inner peace and contentment. Or, I can get and remain and angry and upset. Either way the situation doesn’t change. The only difference between the two is my thinking which controls the quality of my life.

Each time I take a “medical hit” it usually knocks me on my butt, with my mind running wild. All the negative “what if’s” jump to the fore front. I have down on my butt for the past while. The larger looming possibility of a stroke, flat out scare the crap out of me. It has taken a bit but I have reached a level of acceptance. I have no control over this, accept I have no control, let it go. If it happens, it happens, reach that level of inner peace.

I love my life, yes, even as it is. I want to live it not endure it. To do that I need that inner peace.

6 Responses to Quality of life determined within our own minds

  1. DanicaPiche says:

    Wonderful post, Bill!

    Thank you

  2. Irene says:

    Dear Bill,
    Something (someone…..perhaps God?) told me to check back in. Sure am glad I did! I’m not sure how I would react to life-threatening news but I hope and pray that I can make inner peace with it all. I’d like to think that it’s all in the Good Lord’s plan–that I need to leave to make room for someone else to try to make the world a better place. Most of us agree that birth is a miracle…so isn’t death just as much a miracle??
    Thinking of you often and praying for you always, Wiseman.

    Irene, my friend so nice to hear from you, it has been a while and you are missed.
    You bring up such an interesting point. Birth is a miracle, so isn’t death just such a miracle. I need to give this some real though. Initial thought is I agree. It could be said anytime God steps in to actively take take part in my life, taking me by the hand and leading me onward, leading me to the next life would be a miracle. Only God knows when out time on this earth is done at which time He calls us home. I know God is involved in my life on a daily basis. It is just with these human eyes of mine I rarely can see it. When it comes time for us to pass from this world, God’ hand is at work in a such a obvious way that even these human eyes can see it.
    Excellent point. I need time to go over this in my mind.
    Thank you

  3. hilarymb says:

    Hi Bill – you’re so right .. it is only each of us that can control the way we look at life – in whatever state it is. My thoughts – but it’s excellent news you’ve come to terms with the present situation and will make the best of it … keeping positive and keeping interested. Take care – Hilary

    Thank you Hilary always nice to hear from you.I came to realize while my circumstances may differ my over all situation is no different than anyone else facing daily life. We all have curve balls thrown at us unexpectedly on a daily basis. Some we are able to avoid, others hit us head on.
    As we all do, as I travel this highway of life, I like clear view of what is ahead of me, I like to be able to face it head on. No matter how big the pit hole in the highway may be. We can prepare ourselves for when we hit it.
    When my highway takes a lot of detours all at the same time I get lost.
    Takes me a while to get my sense of direction again, get back on my feet so to speak.
    But really, doesn’t that pretty much describe life for everyone.

  4. lypenner says:

    Hi Bill. Finally taking some time to reply. First on quality of life — your post had me thinking back to my Great-Aunt “Tante Greta” who passed away in the mid-90’s. She lived into her 90’s and was more than ready to pass away due to her quality of life but when a medical emergency came and the ambulance arrived, there was no DNR or living will, and they revived her and she went on to live a few more years. She and others regretted than in years to come (not that people didn’t love her, I think it was just difficult for people to see her continued suffering).

    I know that our society has an almost scientific view of medicine, that if an intervention can be done, it should be done, but I would say that it’s not always the case. I’ve heard they used to call pneumonia an “old person’s friend”. I’d imagine that decisions need to be made with much wisdom. In the senior’s home where we sing, there was one resident who fell ill and we felt sure the end was in sight, but she went on to make a recovery (she’s past 90) and is still a lively, fun and engaging participant in our sing-a-longs. So obviously doctors felt intervention would still be more beneficial than detrimental.

    I like what Irene wrote about birth being as much a miracle as death. I believe that. A friend of mine lost her husband to cancer a year ago. He was only 54, a doctor still in the prime of his career and a wonderful guy. All were so saddened to lose him. And my friend, though she was torn up with grief, she recounted his process of dying and said it had been a miraculous death. There had been such a sense of God’s presence and even joy. No doubt it will be one of the most profound experiences of her life. What a paradox! My own sister’s death when I was 7 has been a bit like that for me. In a very strange way, I’ve been the closest to her in my family, as all my life I’ve considered her one of my angels guarding me. So who is to say death is not a miracle! A baby being born from the mystery beyond us, and a person passing on to the mystery beyond us, both of these are surely miracles, no doubt with God leading all by the hand, whether coming or going.

    Your continued talk about accepting the limitations of life that you can’t change continue to be a witness to me. I still have much to learn in that department. My headaches have been better lately, but I know when I go through another round which “knocks me off my butt”, I really grapple with that acceptance part. I agree it takes a while!

    Wow, who’s the rambler today! Thanks for all the thoughts to think about, hope you are enjoying “Terry Fox” day today!

    Hi Lydia always nice to hear from you. I thank you for your “ramble”, lol. Please feel free to ramble as much as you like and as often as you like.
    I am sorry to hear of your sister’s passing, it must have been difficult being so young. That she may be one of your guardian Angels would not surprise me at all.
    I love your statement:
    “So who is to say death is not a miracle! A baby being born from the mystery beyond us, and a person passing on to the mystery beyond us, both of these are surely miracles, no doubt with God leading all by the hand, whether coming or going.” I believe that says it all. Our time on this earth is but one cycle of our existence.
    You are right our medical system is geared towards keeping our bodies alive. We are in fact not our bodies. We are Spiritual beings merely inhabiting that body during our time on this earth.
    Somehow we have to come up with a better understanding of the difference between extending life and extending death.
    Thanks again

  5. gail goss says:

    Hi Bill, I cannot imagine what it would be like to be faced with a life-threatening situation.
    You are so right when you talk about appreciating what we have and not dwelling on the things we don’t have. You have made me think about my life as i sometimes don’t realise how lucky i am to have the things i have, especially my health. We sometimes take even the simple things in life for granted, even each other. I am pleased to hear that you have found inner peace and a level of acceptance to live your life, not endure it. You amaze me how you see the positives in every situation, you are an inspiration. I hope your optimism rubs off on me, as you say, attitude is everything. I do appreciate everything i have. Thankyou for making me think, i will try to keep having a positive attitude to life.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and Vi and family………..Gail (Australia)

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