A phrase shared by Stedman Graham during his presentation at the 2008 Aging In America conference was: “What you focus on expands”.
The phrase instantly brought to mind my friend Holly who had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in February of 2007 at the age of 36. The doctors told her that the most anyone had lived with this type of cancer is 2 years. However; as dire as the situation was, it was Holly’s attitude towards the cancer that inspired me.
Though it was a difficult to grasp the idea that she wasn’t long for this world, she was always very positive. Each time I saw her she was smiling and full of spirit. Though the cancer was eating away her body, it couldn’t touch her spirit. The first time I saw her after her diagnosis she said something that amazed me, she said “I know that how I react to this effects how others react to it, so I am going to choose to stay positive. I may not have much time, but I am going to live each moment I have.”
I was blessed to be able to see her several times in the weeks before her death. During one visit she mentioned that she had always wanted to go to a fondue restaurant. We made a plan that if she was up to it we would go for fondue later that week. She called that day and said she was good to go and we met for dinner. Anyone who saw us having dinner together, laughing and enjoying our time together could not have imagined that Holly’s life would come to an end a week later.
Holly epitomized the “What you focus on expands” concept. Throughout the last year of her life she focused on the important things in life, her family, her friends and her faith in God. She made a point to laugh and enjoy the time she had with the people she loved. Holly could have focused on the negative and it’s not like she didn’t have those times where she cried and questioned why this was happening to her, she wouldn’t have be normal if she hadn’t, but overall what she chose was the positive.
I know a lot of people who have a nice home, great family and devoted friends, yet they focus on all of the negative things in their lives. Little issues become major trauma. There’s not much for them to complain about yet they always seem to find something wrong. Then I think about Holly who had so much to be negative about but opted to focus on the positive.
Points to Ponder:
- What do you focus on?
- Is it something you would want to expand?
- How could choosing to focus on the positive in your life change your life?
Keep in mind it’s a choice!
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