You ever had someone say something to you and you know its true but a part of you still wants to fight it? Yeah, seems like there are many of those. The truth is not always popular and it’s not always spoken in the most convenient moments. Here are my top 5 true things that I really wish you’d stop saying:
Love is all there is.
To this one, I simply smile and nod. In my mind, I’ve just envisioned myself slapping you soundly across the face and saying, “Shut the f*** up! Love is NOT all there is. If it was 1. There wouldn’t be ________ [insert hateful horror du jour] and 2. You wouldn’t need to say it.”
Despite, my visceral reaction, you are right…kind of. I think a more accurate statement would be “Love is all there is…at its origin”, meaning than even fear or hatred (which is a form of fear) starts out as a desire to love and protect yourself. After that point of origin, there is duality – yin and yang, light and dark. So, yes, “in the beginning” love is all there is but beyond that point is where most people live.
He/She is in a better place.
In the moment that you’ve said it to me, I’m likely wracked with grief and telling me about the outcome for the dead person DOES NOT HELP that. Grief is 100% selfish. I am mourning MY loss. So by telling me they are in a better place, you’ve clearly just demonstrated total lack of understanding about the inner workings of grief itself as well as total disregard for my emotions. Yes, I know you meant well.
That’s not to say that your statement is incorrect. In fact, I know you’re right. Been there, seen that. I had a near death experience when I was 19 and it was the single most fabulous event of my life so I totally agree that he/she is in a better place. But remember that a statement being true doesn’t always make it appropriate to say. Honor the moment.
Forgiveness will set you free.
“What’s that? I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you. I’ve got this bone of contention and I’m too busy gnawing on it to hear a thing you have to say. Nom nom nom.”
What you don’t seem to understand is that I’m holding on to this pain for a reason. Perhaps it is to remind me not to trust that person again, perhaps it serves as validation for my current behavior, or maybe I even hold onto it because I get more attention and sympathy. So, yes, forgiveness would set me free but until I address my reasons for holding on to the pain, I won’t ever get there.
In the meantime, you saying that to me makes me feel like you’ve completely invalidated my experience. It pushes me further away from forgiveness and you.
All you need to do is _____________.
Oh, wow, really?! I didn’t realize all I needed to do was [eat less, exercise more] [get a job] [find someone with a big list to partner with] […]. I wish I had known that sooner. I totally would have tried that!
Yes, it is true that all I need to do is _____________. However, if doing ______________ was easy and straightforward, it would already be done and we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. The next time you feel the urge to state something that is well known and exceedingly simple, raise your hand…and then put it over your mouth.
If I am not doing the obvious, it is because there is something standing in my way. Help me figure out what that thing is and help me get past it and you’ve forever changed my life. Simply telling me the simple version just makes you seem pompous and self-absorbed.
Your past is not your future.
I couldn’t resist adding one I say often that I’m sure irritates the hell out of those around me. Clearly, if nothing changes then nothing changes, which means that your past actually is your future, unless you make different choces.
I think this statement would be much more accurate (and well received) if it was changed to, “Your past doesn’t have to be your future.”
Why do I say it? Because life is a lot like your GPS. It has never scoffed at you and said, “You’re starting at A and you want to go all the way to Z?! Impossible!” It simply takes your data and calculates the route. Life does the same but I see far too many people telling themselves crappy stories about what that starting point means, and staying stuck as a result.
So, yes, I say stupid, cringe-worthy truths with good intentions, just like the rest of you. I’m working on honing my compassion so I can better recognize what it would feel like on the receiving side. Maybe you could too.
What are some of your least favorite truths to hear (or that you catch yourself saying)? Leave me a comment and share a couple.
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