Thank you

You didn’t have to love me like you did
But you did, but you did.
And I thank you.
Issac Hayes

When I say “thank you” I mean it as it is intended. Thank you for helping me. We probably don’t say it enough. We don’t acknowledge those people who do the simple mundane tasks or even those who go out of their way to do more. For whatever reason, we have decided that thanking people isn’t all that important. We move on to the next thing that we are doing. For those who still have these words in their vocabulary, thank you for using them!

It’s good that we take the time to thank people. However, there are some people that we would never thank. These are people that we feel hurt, resentment and pain towards. These feelings are the venom that pervades our souls with blackness. We are much more likely to use some other two word greeting than the kind and gentle “thank you”. But what if I said “thank you” to this resented person? What if the “thank you” could actually help ME?

If we have venom towards an ex-partner, family member, boss etc, these feelings follow us everywhere. They invade our day, our night, and our sleep. We constantly bombard ourselves with these intense feelings. We can’t stop thinking about the damage that has been caused. In the worst of circumstances, we are engulfed when thinking about the upcoming family gathering, work meeting, sporting event. There is no way that we could possibly be in the same room as that person, let alone in close proximity. By constantly obsessing about this person, we are giving him/her tons of power. This person is “taking up rent free space in our heads”. We can do something different to make it better for us.

Doing something different implies taking a risk. The risk involves thanking the person for their help. For example, I have to ask my ex-partner to pick up the kids from swimming class. My automatic thoughts might be “I have to ask this person to do this; s/he should know the schedule and should be volunteering to help. I mean after all s/he did to me…..etc”. My healing and empowering new thoughts can be “I’ll ask him/her to pick up the kids”. When the ex-partner fulfills the request, all I have to do is say “thank you”. I don’t have to rant, rave, harangue, tell everybody about what a jerk -off my person is. All that is necessary is a thank you.

When we use our own power instead of a reaction to the past, or obsess in the voluminous rent free space zone, we get to have a new version of ourselves. The partner may or may not see the difference but we end up of free of agita, anxiety, rage, hurt and resentment. This healing “thank you” gives us the freedom to change, the freedom to be better, and most importantly, the freedom to be myself. Sly Stone of Sly and the Family Stone said it best “thank you for letting me be myself again”

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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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