7 Days 7 Influences

iStockphoto credit © ZoneCreative

What is your opinion about the accuracy of these three statements about circumstances, influences, and attitudes?

Circumstances can alter attitudes.

Attitudes can be impacted by influences.

Influences can change our view of our circumstances which can affect our attitudes.

This theory is based on a belief that our circumstances don’t define us unless we let them. We always have a choice as to the things we allow to influence our attitudes. It is from this position I subscribe to this belief:

“At times we may find ourselves in situations where circumstances overwhelm us, but if we are alert and aware we will see the influences God put in our path which have the potential to alter our attitude and find peace in the midst of those circumstances.”

7 Days 7 Influences – Attitude is Everything

iStockphoto © Marek Uliasz

If you would have asked me two weeks ago what my attitude would look like last week, my answer to that question might have surprised everyone. Surgery was looming when I should have been resting and recovering from four straight months of chemo. If truthful, my answer would have contained a few colorful adjectives which illustrated the anger and frustration in my circumstances.

Yes me, the trusting God period guy, can have a bad attitude if I’m not careful. And I’m also someone who can let frustration get the best of me when things don’t go as planned.  

There was no denying that as cancer metastasized some degeneration occurred in some of the bones in my body. The biggest area of concern was my left femur. So after falling twice, and with the structure damage getting worse, the doctors determined I needed to have a rod inserted into my femur to stabilize what the cancer had weakened.

Those of you who have been around the Leveraging Life blog might have expected me to share how I was approaching this surgery as an interruption not a setback. Unfortunately as I typed this I only saw this as yet another disappointment cancer brought into my life.

I chose to let circumstances beyond my control leak into areas of my life which were under my control which caused everything to suffer including my attitude.

Situations like these illustrate how we all can experience both physical and emotional pain at the same time. Physical pain is something tangible and manageable as modern medicine created remedies to help deal with the pain. Emotional pain, and the accompanying stress, is another story as it tends to present itself in waves of tension which can last long after the physical pain has subsided. The only way I’ve found I can successfully navigate emotional pain and its related stress revolves around these three steps.

    • Acknowledge that emotion pain is real, dismissing it or trying power over it will only postpone being healed from it.
    • Share it with someone who knows you well and can help you see when it is impacting your life.
    • Pray about it, sometimes our pain goes so deep that lasting relief only comes from above and not from within.   

This was the place I found myself leading up to my surgery last week, past the physical pain and most of the chemo side-effects, yet immersed in a new wave of anxiety and uncertainty not knowing what to expect facing another.

Fortunately for me God put key people and specific influences in my path which let me know He was with me in the midst of my circumstances which influenced my attitude and helped my find peace in the uncertainty.

Part 2 – Surviving the “suckiness” thanks to a prayer and a phone call! 


trusting God period!

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