The Healing Thank You

What a weird title! And yes this time the word healing is correct, not some unconscious message sent to me. While you are deciding what I meant, how about a little music:

You can’t beat a title that preceeded the bad spelling of text messaging and im by 30 years!!!
The 2 words “thank you” should be common place in our society. They indicate an acknowledgement for something that someone else did that I appreciate. In northern NJ, apparently, people are comfortable/familiar with 2 other words that they hear more regularly. Recently, I went grocery shopping and said “thank you” to the person bagging my groceries. Her puzzled look and question, “what did you say?” confirmed that many people don’t apparently say thank you at the store. This got me thinking about the pure power of the these 2 words. Could it be used beyond the obvious meaning of thank you. Could thank you really mean I have power over you (instead of you having power over me). Could it mean that as a result of your actions I have learned something valuable? Could it be a healing thank you–one that removes my own pain, resentment, fear, etc? Could it really be “Thank you for letting me be myself again?”

In my office I get to see all kinds of people getting into all kinds of relationships. Some are really healthy and rewarding. Some are neither. The worst ones involve people that are really crazy (that is not a clinical assessment, that is an obvious fact!!) These crazy roller-coaster like relationships take people for the ride from hell, over and over again. In the process, they lose themselves, question their own sanity, and question their own beliefs. When these relationships end, the person is a broken shell of how they used to be. As the healing process continues, they regain more of themselves. But how does healing occur if I still have to interact with this crazy person? How do I deal with this person at the PTA, the religious group we both belong to, the visitations with our kids, the social group that we all go to? When ever I see this person I’m reminded of my pain.

Here is where the healing thank you comes in. Instead of my automatic behavior which is to hide and avoid this person,( which increases my anxiety, my projections, my pain) I simply go up to this “crazy person” make good eye contact, give him/her a nice direct smile with a beautifully spoken “thank you”. You may think that I have now lost it—you are asking me to go up to my enemy and thank him or her. I would rather spit on them or curse them and you are asking me to thank him/her. Let’s take 2 steps back. What will happen if you thank the person? You will disarm and confuse them—you will act in a totally different way and in some weird way take away their power over you. It may ultimately feel inside like those other 2 words or it really might be thank you—as in thank you for helping me, or thank you for giving me the motivation to make change, or thank you for allowing me to discover who I am, or “thank you for letting me be myself,……again.”


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