Two people in my life have said the wrong thing to me recently. Multiple times.
It only counts because they are both close enough that it should be obvious to them that there was a very large chance that what they were thinking would be quite hurtful to say. But that was not the case, and they said what they thought, reflecting only on their own circumstances and not considering what would most likely be the case for me.
And it was alright. Actually, it was right. Sometimes what I really need to hear is the wrong thing.
Often the right thing to say is an expression of pity. The right thing can become an indulgence, and that can quickly turn into self-pity, and suddenly you are wallowing in the knowledge that your situation is oh-so-terrible. And by “you” of course I mean “me.”
There are days–months even–when I simply cannot handle hearing the right thing. I fall apart in a mess of anger and misery and in my desolation cannot see the most simple truths of reality and the beauty of life. Sometimes the very worst thing is seeing others pity each other for similar sufferings. My only defense against such despair is indignation, and that is neither healthful nor helpful.
It is silly of me to be surprised by the grace present in the cutting comments made by someone close to me. I should know by now that if hearing the right thing can be so harmful, that hearing the wrong thing could be an opportunity to gain a wonderful new level of understanding of life in all its crushing fullness.
- I am thankful
- Why Be Well?