I’ve seen this picture before. It gives a numerical value to each letter (i.e. A=1, B=2 etc) and shows that if you apply that formula to the word ‘knowledge; you receive 96%. Apply it to ‘hard work’ and you’ll get 98%. Finally, is shows you that ‘attitude’ gives you 100%. I think initially this was used by a teacher to inspire students to have a good attitude toward school but I think it also applies to my situation.
National Heart Month is upon us and I think that the American Heart Association really targets knowledge with their campaign. The AHA wants women to know that heart disease is their #1 killer and that 80% of heart disease is preventable. This education is huge in preventing heart disease caused by controllable risk factors. Knowledge is power.
After women know that heart disease is their #1 killer, then hard work comes in. Lifestyle changes are key to a heart healthy life. Women who know that 80% of heart disease is preventable, know that diet, exercise, stress reduction and taking medication as prescribed by their doctors, reduces their risk of heart disease. Hard work also plays a roll in heart disease, like mine, that is not preventable. I reduced the sodium in my diet, changed how I exercised and took my medications diligently. In my personal journey, I’ve put in a lot of hard work. Sometimes, hard work isn’t enough.
Even after all of the knowledge I’ve acquired about my diagnosis and how to take care of myself I’m still facing heart disease. I worked hard to make my life as perfectly heart healthy as I could after my diagnosis. Here I am still waiting in the hospital after I’ve done everything ‘right’. No matter how much knowledge I gain or how much handwork I put in, it all comes down to attitude.
I’ve been complimented on my attitude numerous times. I don’t really know how to describe what I feel when people tell me that they admire my attitude. I feel almost embarrassed. I don’t see having a good attitude as something remarkable. For me, it is all about perspective and balance. No I’m not a millionaire with perfect health, living in a gorgeous house designed by Chip and Joanna Gaines but, I’m also not a Syrian refugee walking miles a day with little water or food.
Don’t get me wrong I certainly have a pity party every now and then. When I get a little down, I embrace that time and recognize my feelings. Allowing myself to be sad, scared, mad etc. rather than always trying to be happy is important. By recognizing and embracing feelings that can be perceived as negative, those feeling are able to add value rather than negativity. Embracing sadness as a part of your life, builds strength in your mental health and makes you well…you. I believe that attitude and mental health have a great bearing on my physical health and will aide in my recovery. I guess what I’m saying is, for me, being happy and positive is usually easy but I do have moments where I’m blue. In the end, all feelings are important and should be embraced. Happiness, sadness, pride, frustration, anger and the list keeps going; these feelings are important to my heart journey. They are all my attitude.
Courage, dear heart. C.S. Lewis