Refuse Negative Thinking

Refuse Negative Thinking

365 Messages of Hope, Humor & Heart for Caregivers – #8

refuse-negative-thinkingOur priest proudly displayed a plaque in his office that read, “I refuse to gratify the devil by becoming discouraged.” I laughed when I first saw it, but after thinking about it for a while, I realized there is a tremendous amount of power in the word “Refuse”, and I decided to embrace it.

When you’re a caregiver, it takes a tremendous amount of effort to stay positive, especially when you are witnessing the steady and progressive decline of someone you love.

However, regardless of our difficulties and losses, we still have the ability to choose how we will think and how we will respond to any situation. We have the power to accept, and we also have the power to refuse certain things.

This is my “Refuse” list:


  • I refuse to focus on the things that are wrong in my life rather than all of the things that are right.
  • I refuse to spend time with people who are negative, mean spirited, or small minded.
  • I refuse to put any age restrictions on what I can still learn and accomplish.
  • I refuse to think that just because I’m just one person I can’t make a difference.
  • I refuse to believe I’m not strong enough to face whatever challenges lie ahead.

Today I’d like to invite you to make a list of the things you refuse to do. I hope, like me, you’ll find a sense of power and control in knowing what you will do as well as what you won’t do.


  1. Joyce August 13, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    This was a good article. I am the caregiver for my husband who has Parkinson’s Disease
    and I have done this for several years and have seen his symptoms worsen. It is difficult to
    not be negative but I am working on it. If you have other ideas about this I would be glad to
    hear them. Thanks.

    • Elaine Sanchez August 14, 2015 at 7:02 am

      Hi Joyce,
      Thank you for your comment. I can’t think of anything that is much harder than caring for a spouse and witnessing the changes and ongoing losses that accompany a degenerative and progressive disease like Parkinson’s. Every loss your husband experiences is also a loss for you. I wrote an extensive article about caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s a few months ago. Here’s the link: Maintaining Emotional Balance: The Elderly, Parkinson’s Disease & Home Care . You may find this helpful.

      Also, I’d like to encourage you to watch the videos on our website about developing an attitude of creative indifference toward caregiver anger, guilt, depression, and grief. Most of them are relatively short, so if you have ten or fifteen minutes, you can watch one video and then come back when you have more time. They are all free. You can start at the top and go through them sequentially, or you can start with the issue that is most difficult for you and go from there. Here’s the link: Caregiver Videos

      I hope this is helpful.

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