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As we started her treatment, I asked a client what improvements she had noticed in the weeks since we met.
She listed a few things, small improvements, things only someone long confined by pain could appreciate.
She fell silent for a while, then added, “I’m more optimistic.” The quiet triumph in her voice made me smile.
In this world of the bottom line, optimism takes courage. It seems safer not to risk disappointment by imagining improvement.
But optimism is motivating. It’s much easier to make the effort it takes to heal when we start to realize — or even imagine — our efforts make a difference. Optimism is not certainty, but it leaves the door open for positive change.
Optimism is not a blithe “everything is going to be ok.”
Optimism is a willingness to relax into the possibility that, at least right now, this moment, all is good.
Right now, right this moment, all is good.
I loved the article. Since I have worked on so many people in chronic pain I understand and I have also been in serious chronic pain So having a feeling that you can and will feel better is great even if it is sometimes two steps forward one step back learning to soften around it and to breath into your entire being and to learn not to grip starts becoming easier with practice. I suggest everyone to take basic reiki so they can do it on themselves everyday like meditation.
Throughout most of the time I was recovering from cancer (40% 5-year survival odds, 12 years ago), I used a phrase very like the one you use, only mine was along the line: Today I am alive. or I am alive now. It seemed to describe both a very concrete reality and tap into a metaphysical level of truth at the same time. These statements helped me be “real” throughout a scary time.
Also, we now have a whole field in psychology devoted to topics such as the one you point up, called Positive Psychology. Zillions of articles and books out about it. And there is a research literature supporting the health benefits of optimism, for those for whom such an approach is appropriate.
It is the little things that make a difference. I’ve learned now that it is important to probe and ask them if they felt any emotional changes because so many times these little changes go unnoticed. A little optimism, a little less anger or frustration, a little more acceptance. These can make such a huge difference in our lives.
After going to over 65 specialists over 10 years ago from UCLA and University of Pittsburgh, their conclusion to ending my horrific leg pain was to amputate my lets, telling me that I could feel noting. There was nothing farther from the truth and I began seeing holistic practioners…after several months of daily working with massage therapists and Reiki practioners, I became one my self and to day am almost pain free. I am a true believer in these great modalities and feel very blessed the be of assistant to others how have lived in daily pain. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to more inspiring stories…Live is for living and loving and I am abundantly blessed…:o)