“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” That quote, made famous by Charles R. Swindoll (pastor, author, educator, and radio preacher), is one I believe as do many others including health are professionals.
I was therefore greatly relieved to hear my orthopedist say he felt physical therapy over an extended period of time combined with a positive attitude, would soon have my injured shoulder feeling better. Admittedly, setting aside time twice a week for stretching, strengthening, stimulation, heat and laser treatments provided a far more agreeable environment for maintaining a positive attitude than the alternatives described as including sharp needles and/or a scalpel. I felt it best to leave the surgical implements as inspiration while bearing the discomforts of physical therapy!
The commitment to attend my therapy sessions has not always been convenient and certainly has not been my first choice of how best to spend a weekday morning. However, I determined to give it my all and keep those 90% reactions working to my benefit so I pursued my sessions with gusto.
I put on my glad face along with workout clothes, greeted everyone I met with a smile and answered every, “Hi, how are you?” with a “Great and getting better!” I soon knew all my fellow PT-mates by face if not by name and knew most of their stories. Some had been in horrible car or farming accidents, fallen into or off of all sorts of things, or had heavy objects fall on them. One young Marine was recuperating from surgery on his legs after being injured in Afghanistan.
All was going well until one morning when I arrived to find, without notice, our usual physical therapist replaced by a substitute from another center. The room, like that wonderful board game, Clue, was filled with all the usual suspects. Mr. “Green” was riding the stationary bike, Professor “Plum” was lifting leg weights, Colonel Mustard was stretching bands, Ms. Peacock was working with the exercise ball, Miss Scarlet was lifting her legs and Miss White was changing pillow cases and sanitizing equipment. The only difference was today the place looked and felt like a funeral home with only “Mr. Body” missing.
Like children with a new babysitter, we were not at all sure this substitute would be able to take care of us the way our usual therapist did. What could he really know about us just by reading our charts and asking a few questions? Misgivings and anxiety crackled the air and I began to feel my 90% positive reaction turning to 100% sour grapes. This simply would not do! I prayed a quick “arrow prayer” (one of those no frills, right now kind of prayers) and received an answer just as quickly with the inspired idea to get the music playing and folks talking. “Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs”. Psalm 100
It worked! A warm word of welcome to the substitute, a little music on the radio, and a few simple words of encouragement to others as I moved from one piece of equipment to the next soon had my attitude adjustment back in line and I dare say, most everyone else’s headed in the right direction too. 90% of how we feel is determined by our reaction to what is going on around us. Try it for yourself and see!