This week, I’ve blogged about the Law of Attraction.
It took me a while to comprehend how we can attract the negative into our life by saying we don’t want something–don’t want to be poor, don’t want to be sick, don’t want to get a divorce…
But then, last week I attended this awesome Alzheimer’s conference, and I learned something very important.
(Might I note here that I’m a school skipper from way back. It’s a wonder I ever graduated.
I personally think everyone should graduate at sixteen, that Jr. College should be paid by the state (or technical school), and that everyone should turn 18 with either their AA degree, or a skill. (sorry, opinions jump subjects at will)
What I mean is that something has to be really, really good to make me stay in the room, be alert, and take notes–and at this conference, I did all three….
Here’s what the presenter said (specialist in Alz)
BAN “DON’T ” FROM YOUR VOCABULARY WHEN DEALING WITH
ALZHEIMER’S AND DEMENTIA PATIENTS.
Why? Because when you say, “Don’t sit own yet.”
They don’t hear the don’t.
It’s just one word, at the beginning of the sentence, their brain doesn’t pick up on it. We even say the word lower in tone, and they simply don’t comprehend it. They do the thing you told them not to. Too many words, and that one matters the least.
Why do we think our brains, our lives, or anything else is any different?
We drop the don’t, and attract the rest.
Why? Because it’s not what you say, it’s what you fixate on.
Ohhhhh….now that I get.
It’s like saying, “Don’t think about a purple elephant cooking eggs in your kitchen.”
Can you think/imagine anything else? Of course not!
I planted the image in your brain.
So, how are you attracting the good things into your life?
Are you thinking of those? Are you saying those things out loud?
As a caregiver, or a person who is struggling with a disease such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Diabetes, Cancer, MS…joy is sometimes a difficult commodity to come by.
Joy is supposed to be about happiness, right?
And what do I have to be happy about?
Losing my job? Going on two hours sleep?
Dealing with my cantankerous mom? Fighting with doctors and insurance?
Knowing this disease is only going to get worse?
Knowing that caregiving ends with losing my loved one?
Joy is about finding life’s goodness–everywhere. In the small things.
Simple pleasure. Sweet moments. Quiet, deep peace. Allowing.
I have a new mantra–to hold me over during the time I know what I want or need and actually achieving it:
(it’s on a post-it note on my monitor now)
Trust, Wait, Anticipate.
Trust that good will come my way.
Wait, by finding joy and staying busy.
Anticipate, imagine, and expect the good to show up.
Here are the last of my questions I asked Linda Merlino, author of Belly of the Whale, coming out in April. (check back posts for the premise of this book) Hope you’ve enjoyed my guest blogger, Linda. I’ve enjoyed our Q&A–only thing better would have been if it were face to face and involved coffee.
(I’m the questioner–Linda is the answeree)
Q: Your character becomes proactive, in terms of psychologically. She begins to face her fear. Is this autobiographical in some way? How does facing our fear—whether it’s a gunman, breast cancer, or anything else—change a person? As I said before this is not autobiographical in regard to the breast cancer experience, but beyond that we all have are own fears. I read somewhere that there are only two significant emotions: love and fear.
Fear is paralyzing. Hudson Catalina loses her mother when she is fourteen years old.
Emotionally she becomes immobilized. On the surface she carries on, graduates from high school, goes to college, becomes a teacher, gets married, has children and not until her daughter is born and then her diagnosis does she begin to face the suppressed emotions of her youth. Life often bumps along allowing us to bury significant experiences and generally we do not deal with them until there is a collision, a forced head-on crash of some kind. When the moment arrives that any one of us faces our fears, like Hudson in Belly of the Whale, there is a shift into change. As an example, in an excerpt from Belly of the Whale, Hudson Catalina in regard to her cancer and the killer, Buddy Baker:
“Breast cancer and Buddy Baker were one and the same, both trying to suck me down. Yesterday, I gave in to cancer, gave myself over to a disease that had taken me into the bowels of despair, into the belly of hell; a disease that had no sympathy, no compassion and no purpose other than to kill me. Now I was confronted by Buddy, a black-hooded murderer, another kind of killer who had taken me hostage, who had no mercy, no kindness and no other purpose than to take my life. Buddy and cancer wanted a sign, wanted me to concede my battle with each, to fly the flag of defeat.I glared at him. I would not surrender to either.”
Q: There’s a lot of talk about The Law of Attraction these days. I’ve read some of the prominent writers and speakers in the field, and I’ve heard them say that we attract everything—even violence or illness. We attract it for two reasons: 1) in order to learn from it, and 2) we attract it because we have unhealthy patterns/beliefs, and don’t realize we are attracting such negativity.
This sort of thinking goes against the old adage: “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
While I don’t feel that you—or I—need to make a definitive stand for or against the Law of Attraction, how do you feel about it, in terms of someone who contracts cancer, such as your character, and then winds up in a dangerous, life threatening situation?What can other people who are in real life traumas and dramas glean from this? A: The Law of Attraction is just another name for fear. If a person is negative then negative happens. Why- me-God people can not see the flip side…the glass half full. Why do some people take on this kind of behavior? I believe it is out of fear. Fear becomes their protection, the negativity of their attitude is the barrier created against life. Inevitably, I believe this kind of person attracts the very things they fear.
Now, what of the “good” people the ones that die young, the ones that suffer, the ones that are taken from us too soon? I have no answer; I believe there is no answer, only that there is a reason, a higher purpose to everything and that we are players on the stage of life and we do not write the script. Perhaps the good folk who attract illness or violence are role models. They are the teachers. We, like Hudson Catalina, learn from them. We learn how to die, we learn how to live. In a final excerpt from Belly of the Whale speaking of Willy Wu and Ruby Desmond:“Ruby Desmond and Willy Wu were teachers, the kind of teachers that cross paths and impact lives forever.” ~Linda Merlino
I hope you too, ban “don’t” from your vocabulary.
May you attract joy and find sweetness in each day.
~Carol D. O’Dell
author of Mothering Mother: A Daughter’s Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir,
available on Amazon and in most bookstores