People are stupid and NONE more so than I

An e-mail that I sent to my sister today…with a few changes for clarity or anonymity:

Favorite Sister,

I just tried to call you, but no answer and your voice mail is full. I hope this e-mail addy is still good.

I just wanted to say hello and I love you. AND I am sorry that I have not “been there” for you these past couple months since Beloved Nephew’s [fatal] car accident. I was just writing an email to a friend venting about I wish people would just take a moment and ask me how I am doing and a couple other related issues  (I’m going through a difficult time, and have been since before the accident…but I don’t want to talk about that now…let’s talk about YOU.)  After I had vented plenty about how stupid people are, I realized I AM STUPID. I haven’t done those same things for YOU.

Little Sister, I am so sorry…sorry I believed all those lies people tell themselves when someone they love is hurting.

1. I don’t know what to say
2. We’re not THAT close, they have other people closer to them that will help.
3. I’m busy and my loved one is too.
4. Anything I say or do won’t make that much of a difference.

There are probably more if I think about it. Anyway, I am sorry that I have not been more of a support to you. I am going to do better…whether you want me to or not, LOL!

I do love you. And I do love Beloved Nephew. Like most of the population, I am just stupid.

Leslie

With the caveat that I have erred in believing these myths myself, I would like to talk about them.

Myth
1. I don’t know what to say. 

Truth
You really don’t have to say much…start with “how are you?” and let the person know you really want to know…then listen.  Listening is SO valuable.  If you feel like you have to say something, validation is great.  Validation means “You have a right to be angry about….”  or, “I would feel sad too…”

Myth
2. We’re not THAT close, they have other people closer to them that will help.

Truth
When I have talked to people that are in pain, whatever the reason, they have one thing in common…they feel alone.  I don’t think there is such a thing as “too much love and concern”.

Myth
3. I’m busy and my loved one is too.

Truth
I work full time and have 5 kids. My sister also works full-time…so finding a time to call and chat is difficult.  BUT it only took me a few minutes to write that email.  It only takes a minute to leave a voice mail (and if you call me, you will likely get my voice mail because I am busy, but it would touch me that you called and left a voice mail.) 

Myth
4. Anything I say or do won’t make that much of a difference.

Truth
I think this one is the biggest lie that we tell ourselves.  I can’t speak for my sister, but I know for me having someone say, “How are you?” when I feel they are sincere, means the world to me.  If they say, “you have a right to be angry about what happened to you”…Balm of Gilead.  “How are you?” and “I care about you”, “thinking of you”…never underestimate how powerful these things are.  They are powerful!

YOU are powerful…don’t underestimate the power you have to help others.

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4 thoughts on “People are stupid and NONE more so than I

  1. Very well put Leslie! How are you? I like to ask a person twice how they are because I know I always say fine the first time because everyone ALWAYS says how are you, which just means, 'Hello." so, How are you?? Thinking of you… always!Pam

  2. Once again, you speak words of truth.I know that when my dad died, it was hard to distinguish between the sincere and insincere condolences that I just blocked it all…I will work on reaching out more because again, YOU ARE SO RIGHT!!!!Love you sister from another family!!!!P

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