The power of words

Invitation to prayer! I have a CT scan today (Wednesday) and get the results on Friday.

Though overall I really feel great, waiting to see “what the doctor says” can produce anxiety.

I find it easy to want the doctors to tell me where this is all going, as if they are driving this bus. The more I see them, the stronger my relationship with them and the more their opinion counts. Their attitude can influence my state of mind, and a negative tone can bring me into a negative place. I know that that influences my healing.

I forget that sometimes, it is simply their point of view. I forget that the world contains many people and many points of view. Heck, even my family contains many people. Every time I am with my family, I realize that they are probably one of the best parts of me and feel simply amazed to be born into that group.

So last weekend, we went to Pittsburgh for a family graduation party.

Especially at parties, I try to avoid too much talk about my health. It is boring to me, there isn’t a lot to say that they don’t already know, and they have lots of interesting things going on in their lives that I really want to hear about. Plus, we had lost one family member the day before. To cancer. Discussing my own cancer was beside the point, not to mention a real downer of a conversation topic at a celebration.

But then, talking with one of my aunts, I blurted out that I had a CT scan this week. I could feel some worry in my voice and immediately cringed because I didn’t want to go there. But I couldn’t back up.

Thankfully, she saved me.

“It will be fine,” she said. Her tone was definite, not dismissive. She didn’t minimize the possibility of worry. She basically acknowledged it and then kept the conversation from going in a direction that neither of us wanted. It was as if we were on a conversational highway, where she acknowledged the exit and noted confidently that it wasn’t for us.

In that one sentence, along with her tone and body language, she not only saved the conversation, she shared her belief, solid and strong and one that I could rely on. It will be fine.

That was a few days ago, and I continue to lean into the strength she shared. That makes me realize that, while the energy and opinions of doctors can influence how we heal, we have the potential to influence each other as well, with our words, our attitudes and our beliefs.

Thank you for sharing your strength and your belief, with me and with those around you who are healing. It is powerful medicine that works from the inside out.


6 thoughts on “The power of words

  1. Somewhere over the midwest in a Delta 757, holding you and your remarkable wisdom in my thoughts. Thank you for letting us be a part of this journey – your trust, openness and warmth are a blessing to everyone you touch.

    • I was just talking about you last night! I was telling someone about the kinds of parties you like to throw, how they are so interesting and mind-expanding and fun and how much we loved having you as a roommate. So fun to hear from you. Safe travels and lots of love.

  2. Visualizing good outcome for you, Marie.
    I really resonated with the “suggestability” factor you mentioned. It is inherent in my encounters with people whose opinions matter to me, or who are authorities in their fields. It’s important for me to be able to stay in touch with my own inner voice when there comes that hint of negative appraisal…But it’s difficult to keep perspective at times, isn’t it.?
    We could all use more aunts like yours.

    • Mary, I totally get where you are coming from. It is like I end up matching what they are feeling rather than holding onto my own feeling. Stay strong, girlfriend! There are lots of us out there holding space for you, too!

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