The Power of Choosing a Positive Perception

Material Information

The Power of Choosing a Positive Perception
Series Title:
IUF 1000: What is the Good Life
Irvine, Tracie
University of Florida
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Course Material


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Summer 2018 Competition
Audio Essay


My life has been filled with what many would call negative events, I used to consider them negative events too until I discovered the power of perception. I believe that, through the power of choosing a positive perception, I can always enjoy life regardless of my circumstances.
David Wallace said in This is Water that we need to be “conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience.” As I continued to read This is Water , memories of past experiences flooded my mind.
My first thirty years of marriage was filled with what I interpreted as one negative event after another. My husband, Terry, broke his back at the age of 20. I cried at every baby shower because we were unable to have kids. He almost died of cancer at 28, during a “routine back surgery” he almost bled to death when surgeons caused a cyst on his spinal cord, they even told me to come say “good bye” because he only had hours to live. Later he almost died again from the Hepatitis C he got from all the blood transfusions. After 3 unsuccessful surgeries to repair his spinal cord, they said he would never walk again.
During his three months at Dallas Rehab, his boss told him he didn’t want a producer/director in a wheelchair and demoted him to telemarketer, and a week later I lost my job at a bank that closed due to a massive land-investment scam. We had to move in with friends.
So far all of this seems tragic doesn’t it? Well, it was about this time that we realized we had chosen negative perspectives when, in reality, we were incredibly blessed! We failed to recognize how blessed beyond measure we were during these events, and how wonderfully things kept working out in the end.
While living at Dallas Rehab a lady suddenly gave us her baby. This miracle is what started our understanding of perspective. We realized how blessed we were to not have children until now due to all his hospital stays and time-consuming recoveries. And we realized that even though human choices and mistakes had caused all this stuff, that God had done miracles on our behalf each and every time.
Every time they said he would never again walk, he walked. When the cancer made Terry too sick to move, he asked God to either heal him or take him home. The next day he woke up with energy and discovered the following week he had been healed. Terry didn’t die from the botched operation or Hep-C, and a few years later he found out he didn’t have Hep-C anymore, he had been healed again.
Now when something interrupts our idea of “The Good Life” we follow Wallace’s direction, we “consciously decide what has meaning” and cry, “Plot Change” and start counting our blessings, and find ways we can bless others during the crisis.
Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Kendall Kroger.
General Note:
Works Cited Wallace, David F. "This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life." 2005 Commencement at Kenyon College. Kenyan College, Gambier, OH. Speech.

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