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Misery Can Eat You Alive

This is a true story about a woman I worked with for several years.

I'm sure we all know at least one person who cannot find a good thing to say about anything or anyone. Your typical "miserable" person who could have $10 million handed to her and would complain that it wasn't $10 million and $1.

This was such a person.

The sky would be blue, the temperature warm and the flowers in full bloom. She would point out one small cloud that loomed in the horizon, that it was two degrees warmer in another town and that the petals on the tulips were wilting prematurely.

She had nothing good to say about anyone we worked with, and I thought we had a great group of people.

I eventually started to avoid her because try as I would to get her to find something good in the world, she would strike down my every effort.

When we would learn of anything new in the workplace, she would immediately react with anger and start venting her opinion to anyone within earshot.

I decided to distance myself from her because I could not raise her energy and she was bringing mine down.

Science has proven that the way we think, feel and react has an impact on our health and physical well-being.

When someone is constantly sick or suffering from one ailment or another, this may often be a reflection of what is going on in his or her thoughts.

Of course, there are always exceptions; however, I have observed that many of those who live in a constant state of negativity, and who react to many situations based on their judgments, suffer more maladies and chronic illnesses than those who don't.

I often contemplated this theory when thinking of my co-worker and I wondered if some day she would suffer a fatal heart attack or terrible illness because she was so filled with anger and negativity.

While working a Tuesday afternoon shift, she booked off duty early and went home because she had a small bruise on her leg that was causing her intense pain.

Later that same evening, she was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with flesh eating disease.

Wednesday her leg was operated on and it was learned that the disease had spread into her other leg and abdomen.

Thursday she was given her last rights.

When I heard of this series of events, I was shocked and saddened. I listened to others saying, "How could this happen? She's young and so healthy."

I couldn't help but think to myself that her thoughts and negative feelings might have finally manifested themselves through her physically. Somehow I was not so surprised anymore by the terrible news.

She remained in Intensive Care for many months and even though she was not expected to live more than four days from her diagnosis, she remains with us today.

She has very little left of her legs, endured numerous operations on several organs, and spent many months in physical, mental, spiritual and emotional agony. Many months passed before she was able to see her two young children.

I often think of her when I am inclined to react to certain situations in a negative way, or when I am tempted to fall into a negative pattern of complaining or criticizing.

One of the great powers we have is the power to choose, and when I'm faced with the choice of complaining or making the best of a situation, I take the high road.

Do I do it consistently? Not always. After all, I am human and do make mistakes. But, every day I continue to strive to be better than I used to be.

What can you do today to create a more positive outlook on life?

Laurie Hayes, founder of Where the Heart Is Life Coaching, is a Life Strategy Coach and author of several articles and an e-book designed to promote excitement and inspire action in others to pursue the best life has to offer. To secure a copy of her free e-book, "10 Guidelines for Attraction," visit

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