Friday, July 1, 2011

two simple words...

It has never been difficult for me to say 'thank you'. I am a person who believes strongly in the power of my words and the affect those words can have on others. But there is a difference between words spoken by rote and words spoken with sincerity. Don't guess I have to explain all that to ya, right?

I was taught early on that it was the polite thing to say. Whenever I was given any little thing, my mom would always say, "What do you say, Camille?" The words came out of my mouth without thinking. I was programmed to say thank you. I was not, however, taught about the sincerity of using them. Not to say that my parents weren't sincere. But perhaps they assumed that I would understand without having to be told. Either way, it does not matter. I could tell the difference from as far back as I can recall. Such things as "I'm sorry." were most often suspect. Because more often than not, those words were spoken without heart. They were required, not necessarily sincere. I could always tell the difference.

Still can.

When someone speaks the words without the feeling behind them, I smile at their attempt. Perhaps they are simply incapable of meaning what they're saying. Or perhaps they are more driven by fear than by truth. Or perhaps...they are simply doing the best they know how. Which may not be enough for me, but then...who am I to judge? (let's not go there right now, okay?) Regardless of the situation, the bottom line always falls to this:

Say what you mean, mean what you say.

Which leads me back 'round to the beginning. It is not difficult for me to express thanks. I do not offer the words if I don't mean them. And so, whether or not the recipient is as persnickety as I am, the truth of my gratitude is as clear as a cloudless night. They can feel it. They know I mean it. And the flow of energy that circles round is palpable. But the neatest thing of all is how it can affect the recipient. It may be that they don't hear it often enough. Or maybe they just don't know how much they matter. But time after time, I see the reactions and I am always amazed at the power of those words.

For example....

There is a woman who works for the Doc I see monthly. She is a mother of two, a vibrant young woman who has large dreams and a sense of who she is. Albeit slight. Still, she is a delightful woman who makes my regular visits to the Doc even more pleasant. This past week has been a bear for me. (I shan't share those details as they have no bearing on the point.) So when I walked in today she was quick to notice my discomfort. She extended her hand to help me out of the chair and led me gently into the room where I would wait for the Doc. While she took my blood pressure and all the other 'vitals', she spoke of her admiration for my tenacity and optimism. She said that I was the "only" patient who came in with a smile, regardless of the pain level. She said that it always made her day to see me walk through the door.

How do you not respond well to such things????

When I got home I called her back to express my gratitude. For just being so beautiful. For being such a light in my visits. For being a rose in a very thorny odyssey.

I could tell it surprised her. She didn't speak for a few moments...and then she said, "That is the sweetest thing any patient has ever said to me." I told her I meant it. She said she knew. And as we said our goodbyes I could hear the smile on her face. I had one too.

I thought I'd share this with you because I know there are people who have a really hard time with the whole "thank you" thing. And I wanted to give you a little remind you just how powerful those words are...IF YOU MEAN IT! all of you who have said it, and to those who are working their way to it...


I really DO mean it.

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