There’s no doubt in my mind that you know words are powerful. Simply think about the feelings you’ve experienced after either saying or hearing Loving words. Venomous words. Truth. Lies.
But before our words are able to affect others, first, they’re thoughts. Even if they appear to happen simultaneously, there’s some force inside us that’s at work to push them out into the atmosphere, allowing them to be heard by another.
Once you say it out loud, it’s out there. Period. Good, bad, or indifferent.
Last week, while visiting with my former oncologist, he reviewed my chart, looked at my lab work, asked me several questions, then turned to me. “Leslie,” he said, “I think you have too many doctors in your life. How’d you like to have one less?”
These words, were music to my ears.
I was up, out of my seat, shaking his hand, and out the door before it had time to hit me in the derriere.
Although there was never any question in my mind that my meeting with him would go any differently, there was still a certain amount of relief, comfort, and JUBILATION in hearing his words spoken out loud. His words marked the confirmation to an end of a very different set of words that were spoken out loud by a different doctor, a radiologist, last July.
Radiologist’s words: beginning. Oncologist’s words: ending.
There’s something about speaking words out into the air that makes them real in a way they weren’t moments earlier while still lodged in our heads. Or even on the tip of our tongues.
In the case of awaiting an outcome from a biopsy, these words, after spoken out loud, have the ability to shift an entire mindset from the unknown: “What If?” To the very real known: “Oh shit.”
Just that fast.
It doesn’t mean that the condition didn’t exist before that moment. But, before life was breathed into the words, it didn’t exist to me. It wasn’t real, to the extent that no action had taken place. I hadn’t started to make future appointments, plans, etc… all of the logistics that occur after the words are uttered and it becomes real. Once the words are breathed into existence, the What If fades. No, not fades, it bursts like a soap bubble.
This biopsy example is the one I happened to use for today’s post. But there are countess others. Everything changes once you hear the words:
- “I’m sorry. We no longer need your services.” <or> “Welcome aboard!”
- “Your son has been seriously injured.” <or> “Goodnight, Mom. I love you.”
- “I want a divorce.” <or> “Will you marry me?”
- “Your daughter has a rare disease.” <or> “It’s a girl!”
Before these words are uttered out loud, they’re in the What If category. Or, maybe the non-existent category, not even a part of your thoughts.
Once spoken out loud and made a reality, I believe how you navigate through the two scenarios of ‘What If?’ and ‘Oh shit,’ has a lot to do with where you’re operating from at that moment.
H o w e v e r, that opens up an entirely new can of worms, no, an entirely new bucket of worms! A bucket that deserves its own post, separate from this one about words.
For now, we’ll call the bucket: Trust.
Next time, expect to read the answer to the question I receive more than any other: “But how do you Trust? How does that work exactly?”
We’ll pick up here next time….