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“Dancing Through Recovery”



“Dancing Through Recovery”: It’s a Head-Game!


by

L.T. Force, Ph.D.

Gerontologist


Dr. Sheldon Tobin, (aka Shelly), was the Chairperson of my doctoral studies. I learned so much from Shelly. He was a prolific writer, a great teacher and a leader/researcher in the field of Gerontology. There is an old saying: “Good teachers are immortal….you never forget a good teacher”. I will always remember Dr. Sheldon Tobin. One of the things he would repeatedly say is: “the longer you live….the chances are you will live longer”. I like that statement. Dr. Tobin developed a psychological theory titled: “The Unique Psychology of the Very Old”. He had a real appreciation for the wisdom, insight and value that older adults in the : “latter half of life (age 85+)” bring to the table. And one of those things is the: “Power and Importance of Attitude”. There are so many lessons we can learn from older adults - especially as it relates to: “the value of meaning, purpose and positive attitude across your lifespan”.


As we continue to age, our network of people who we have met across our lifespan increases. And we begin to realize: “everyone has a life story”. That life story, for all of us, contains moments, periods and times of challenges and victories. Each of us has a: “life story” consisting of these challenges and victories. What have I noticed? I have noticed that people who maintain, and in some cases as a result of these challenges - actually develop a positive strength-based attitude - seem to be: “dancing through recovery”. And I’m not talking about a “physical dance”. I am referencing a: “psychological, attitudinal and spiritual dance". Why? Because I am a strong believer, both from a: “theoretical knowledge-base and a lived-experience perspective” that the power of the mind is truly untapped - and it is the strong positive attitude and belief system that is the: ”dance partner” that will lead you forward. You don't believe it? Here is the challenge. Try it! Look at the lessons to be learned. Move from the perspective of just having a focus on the challenges - and being absorbed on what are the limitations - to a focus on: “imaging the victories” and then putting into action the things that matter most: attitude, a prayer-life, a meditative practice, determination and willpower” It’s like putting on a new set of “eyeglasses”….and seeing your world instantly as a different image. It’s like visioning the mystical influence of the moon…it is it like a “spark”. Is it work? Yes, it is work. But, from all of the “life-stories” I have witnessed - I hear the words of people recounting: “the first thing that changed was ‘my attitude of what’s possible’. But is it worth it? Yes, and so are you….not only for the benefit of you….but for all who surround you. Recovery is a head-game….and it can begin at this very moment....it's a choice....it's a decision....be patient....be determined. Learn from the lessons of others on this life-path. Try it - and as you look back on welcoming and accepting this: "change of attitude".....you won’t regret it. I promise.







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