I Believe Truths in Words do Matter
When I was raising my children, I carefully selected my words whenever a significant event occurred. My thoughts were, of course, on my carefully crafted general discussion on right and wrong. Surely it would be remembered and embedded in their life’s lessons box to be recalled years later, and so appreciated. Then, I thought it the right thing, at the right time. However, not to be . . .
Those cunning discussions were not what they remembered . . . rather it was always talks and observations of other lessons they recalled, incidents and statements so small I don’t even recollect them making the difference. Unknowingly, they closely watched me being truthful and direct with others, telling them when I was proud of them, and when I wasn’t. If anything ever came out of this, I become aware of trying to choose my words carefully, be genuine and truthful of the situation lest the wrong piece of information be remembered.
All this recently came home when I was diagnosed with cancer, and my anxiety level was running on overload. I have been fortunate enough to mostly be in control, of my work, environment, success, and failures and the direction my life was taking. This hiccup of a totally unexpected disease was a show stopper. The mental gymnastics were overwhelming my sense of control, and value.
As we met with my doctor to answer technical questions, I was very appreciative of the scheduling and plan of action, all the right things that needed to be said, were said, as he has done so a thousand times. But I still felt so out of control I wanted to crawl into a hole. The kicker was to come. As we were finishing up, I tried one more desperate bid to get command, what could I do, eat, take, whatever, to help harness what is going on?
His reply, “Nothing, there is nothing you can do to change the course of what will happen.” Being the control idiot to the end, I pressed on with dietary issues, he stopped me and stated again, “there is nothing you can do about this, it is out of your control, it will do what it will do, and we are here to help.” It was the truth, and cut to the core of my anxiety.
On the long drive home I processed that closing statement and found, amazingly, that it relieved most of my anxiousness. While it wasn’t changing anything, it was a release from bondage of a thunderstorm of self pity. It was the small, truthful words of reality I remembered, and it made a difference.
As we move on in our protracted battle with this demon, lots of friends have said lots of things, some comforting, some not. Every once in a while, unknowingly, a sincere, brief, truthful word casually spoken cuts through the fog and plants itself in a file never to be forgotten. It is not a matter of sensitivity, it is a matter of genuine truth. In extreme case of conflict, personal disasters or even joyful moments, truth, however brief, is always remembered and appreciated.
The truth has allowed me to move on doing what I enjoy, and enjoying what I do. It’s a very good feeling.
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