Thursday, February 11, 2021

Some pep talks are not truthful—especially ones about truth

I saw this in the daily dose of coping encouragement in the OSU medical newsletter—which these days is mostly about Covid19.

“We can banish fear by realizing the truth.

“Am I afraid to be alone?” This fear can be subdued by the realization that we are surrounded by people each and every day.

People who care about us are all around us every single day. They’re willing to support us at the drop of the hat — but only if we let them know we need their support.

The number of people willing to support us is inexhaustible and unfailing, as long as we engage in open communication making clear our need for their support. Funny thing, when we support each other: Our bonds grow stronger, and we’re much more successful in our endeavors.”

Think about that first sentence in the context of what we see every day.

We knew the truth about glioblastoma when our son was diagnosed on October 1, 2019.  We knew he would soon die and that our lives changed forever on that day.  That was the truth.  It didn’t banish our fear.

We saw enough evidence about mail in ballots and middle of the night vote counting for the November 3 election to know the truth.  It hasn’t banished fear about where our system of government is heading.  The truth is not banishing fear, it’s causing us to lose our basic freedoms.

I’m looking out my window at fresh snow, I know it will be extremely cold and slick when I go to the grocery store.  That’s truth.  But I’m still afraid to drive there.

And there are NOT inexhaustible and unfailing people surrounding us and available to help at the drop of the hat.  Those people are locked in their homes.   True, this was written to support the highly stressed medical workers dealing with a pandemic who see people every day. but imagine throwing that guilt trip on people already stressed to the limit.  And although sometimes just the right person comes along to help or support, that’s the exception, which is why we often mention it in our prayer groups and Bible studies (now available only on ZOOM).

Platitudes and cheap grace.  That’s what a lot of coping stragies are.  This advice was followed up with a video of horses playing with rubber balls.  Cute.  But it didn’t banish the fear based on Truth.

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