I have worked with hundreds of people over the past 30 years who came to see me for a specific problem. What I found interesting is that many of them were carrying around a problem {rather a mindset} from years ago. I like to call this “The Bad Chapter”.

So many of us will encounter a string of bad luck or down times in our life. With prolonged exposure to these events, we begin to take on that identity. We begin to associate who we are with what we are going through. As we try to navigate our way to better times, we fall into the trap of over thinking and over talking about our problems and circumstances. And the more we do that, we begin to identify ourselves in a negative light. I have always loved the saying “Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction.” I believe this to be true.

When we talk about our problems, it is important to differentiate the problem from the person. Years ago when I was a crisis counselor for the HIV / AIDS community, I would often lecture on the importance of knowing that you are not your disease. What I loved over the course of the years was a powerful affirmation that came from this population. They came up with the phrase Person / People Living With AIDS. Or PLWA for short. They took their power back. Likewise, many years later when I went to work with women in varying stages of Breast Cancer, they too, came up with a strong affirmation. Breast Cancer Survivor. Wow! You may be diagnosed. You may be down. But, you are not out. How we view our situation has a huge impact on how it will play out. I want to say that again. How we view our situation, has a huge impact on the outcome.

You may experiencing a troubling time. You may have taken a loss. But I believe that every no, is leading us one step closer to our yes. I am realistic. There will be times where we will have to accept the inevitable. But, I refer back to mindset. A negative attitude makes a bad situation unbearable. Study after study will confirm this. Reminds me of the quote from the movie The Shawshank Redemption. “Hope is a good thing, maybe even the best of things, and good things never die.

I do not wish to minimize anyone's problems. But do yourself a favor. A bad chapter does not necessarily mean a bad book. I have spoken about this many times. There are people right now who are praying to have our problems. And yes, there will be books that end with a bad chapter. There is no way of getting around that. My thoughts on that brings me back to my death and dying work. What am I going to take when I go? My problems, or my love. Make a choice to embrace the good.

Understanding that all books will have a chapter or two {some may have many} that are not pleased. But hopefully you do not discard the book, and we keep reading until we get to brighter days.