It’s All in Your Head

by  Carolyn Babcock, Ph.D.

Two of my favorite expressions are :  “If you say you can or cannot, you are always right.” (Henry Ford) ; and “You must do that thing you think you cannot do.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)  Both of these observations are of the impact of thought on our actions.  The first challenges our propensity to turn thoughts into action and thus, for good or bad, those actions become self-fulfilling prophecies.  The second challenges us to not let our thoughts hold us back.

I contemplated these words as I listened to the status update of Congressional Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head 10 days ago in Tucson, Arizona.  By all accounts, she is making remarkable progress, going beyond what one could reasonably expect given the gravity of her injury.  I believe that the secret to her amazing recovery (in addition to a remarkable medical team who has been ministering care over the last week and a half) can be found in the words of her husband, astronaut-Commander Mark Kelly who said:  “I have her on a schedule” of recovery.  It was at that point that I realized that Ms. Giffords would most certainly fully and completely recover.  It is apparent that goals for her healing have been set and are beginning to be realized.  Today, a mere 10 days after being critically injured from a bullet entering and exiting her brain, Ms. Giffords sat in a chair and ultimately stood.  She looked at get well cards that had been sent to her and even scrolled through the photos on her husband’s iPhone.

No one believes that the path back to and through her recovery will be an easy one.  Yet, with a team effort of positive thinking and goal-setting, it appears that the road to recovery may happen more quickly than people had anticipated.  Commander Kelly and Ms. Giffords are asserting that “she can.”

When you look at someone whose life was changed in a second, going from one of public service to private challenges, it gives you pause to reflect on your own life.  What thoughts are holding you back?  What are you saying you cannot do?  How can Ms. Giffords’ healing serve to inspire you?

One of Ms. Giffords’ favorite songs is U2’s “It’s a Beautiful Day.”  Whether or not today will be a beautiful day for you is your choice.  After all, it’s all in your head.

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