When I told someone that I saw no reason for a Pet Scan, they were quick to tell me that could happen. They also told me - as they have other times - that what I am thinking/likely would do is not what they would do.
I politely listened. But, here is the thing: when I get to a place in regard to my choices, it is not come to lightly or quickly. There is thought that goes into it that is, at times, agonizing.
Am I always certain about my choices? On some level yes, but on an absolute level, no. It is one reason why I do not like talking about my choices with anyone. Odds are I will not change my mind, and I am only further agonized.
But I can't often - if ever - tell someone that without in some way offending them. It is not that I do not value their opinion, or what they have to say, but rather, that I value myself more.
And that is the way it should be.
I rarely, if ever, ask someone's opinion these days because it likely won't matter what they think. Odds are if I do do it, I am not looking to change my mind, but rather get some form of validation for what I think.
The less certain I feel, the less likely I am to ask what another thinks, it likely will only confuse me more. And yet, in the interest of helping me, people often offer me their unsolicited opinion which I am expected to patiently and appreciatively listen to.
The other day someone told me about food and sugar and cancer. It certainly is not my first time hearing what is offered. I tried to cut the conversation off at the pass, "I do not know what I think of that theory, and things like it." Apparently it wasn't enough to say I wasn't interested, so the person continued.
I listened, but I wasn't happy about it. I have so little patience these days for things that I do not want to spend my time with. When you realize you may not have much time, you tend to be much more aware of how you spend it.
I sometimes get grief when I try to head things off at the pass. There seems to be this unwritten rule that you need to allow others their opinion, or else risk being labelled in some negative, self-serving way.
We have contracts that make no sense, and yet we stick to them. Imagine what it could be like if people could spend a lot less time on the things that don't matter, and more on those that do. If we could just be ourselves without another feeling slighted or judging us in the process, what could that look like?
I have learned to shrug a lot of things off. You don't want my opinion if it is unsolicited? Tell me to shut up, and I do. At least that is how it is in some contexts. Tell me that here, and I will likely tell you to stop reading my blog, but there will be no ill will.
I think we need to learn how to listen to another's complaints without being offended or defensive. I think we also need to learn how to express ourselves without an expectation that what we say will change anything.
It is the act of expression that matters, not a result, or lack of one. There is a lot of freedom in expression. A lot.
It bothers me when I can't say how I really feel about something because I am afraid of the repercussions. I want to at least be able to say how I feel without it becoming a problem. I can accept another's opinion much more when I can express my own. Things won't change? Fine. At least I got to say what was on my mind.
How often is communication stifled because one thinks the other thinks she should change? How often is that actually the case? Probably a lot.
Wouldn't it be better to at least be able to say how you feel? Hint: the answer is likely "yes."
I am likely going to stop holding back. If there is any chance mind and body are connected, I am not doing myself any favors holding back.
It really is kind of painful, actually. For all I know, my life is at stake.
It is not that I want to hurt anyone. I just want to stop hurting myself.