It’s a rainy Autumn day, the air cool, and I am safely at home in my cozy library. I’ve just finished a smoothie, although yes, hot tea sipped from a china cup (Mom got me a beautiful one last year) seems more apropos. I was hungry, you see, and although I have a frozen slice of banana bread in the freezer (which would have paired so nicely with tea!) I chose instead to stick to my diet. Go me!!
I’ve been reading this morning and was stopped in my tracks, as it were. The book is fiction but as so often happens, truth shines out from a NON-self-help place.
I will NOT be sharing the title – at least not yet – because I am positive I will be buying this book as a Christmas present for my mother who reads this blog. If you simply MUST KNOW, please write me privately and I will share, but only if you PROMISE not to tell Mom or in any way, go public. LOL As if! I’ll also be buying it for my daughters. It’s *that kind* of book!
Here are the words that pricked my heart:
There are secrets that must be held close, and most of these have to do with the wounding of the human heart, for sorrow spoken aloud is sorrow lived through twice.
There are two distinct thoughts here:
- Some secrets must be held close.
- Sorrow spoken aloud is sorrow lived through twice.
Certainly, the first thought, especially, is nothing new. It’s been said in many ways through the years and throughout modalities, from literature to feature films.
The second thought: Sorrow spoken aloud is sorrow lived through twice is a newer one to me, though not unknown. That’s because my mom and I have been discussing this notion in length lately.
And… *ahem*… it is LIFE CHANGING.
I sometimes wish I could just lose some the more painful memories I carry. If I didn’t remember, I wouldn’t keep talking about (and reliving) them.
It would be so much easier! I can’t remember who told me this story and I might have some of the smaller details wrong but you’ll get the drift…
There was a man who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. One of the side effects was that his recent memory was erased – several months worth, including the day he crashed.
He is in a coma for days and wakes up in the hospital.
He is told that he was in a one-person collision – just his car and a tree.
His wife and family are there, of course, and look a little worse for wear. They are relieved and joyful that he’s fully back with them.
His friends and co-workers come by and he’s happy to reminisce about the job, one he’s loved and held for 20 years.
One day, a woman who says she’s a co-worker comes alone. He doesn’t remember her and tells her so. She cries and runs from the room.
He tells his wife about it and she tries to hold in tears but can’t. She says she’ll be right back.
When she returns, the doctor is with her. She sits down and begins to talk:
I know you don’t remember but you were having an affair with that woman. You met her at work ten weeks ago. I didn’t know about it until the night you came home to ask for a divorce. I said no, I wanted to fight for our marriage. You stormed off. You were angry. You were going to her when you crashed.
Now it’s his turn to cry.
To him, it’s as if it never happened. He is crying for the hurt he caused the wife he loves. He is almost inconsolable. He says something like, “I don’t know why it happened but I promise you, it will never happen again! It may take a lifetime but please forgive me!” She knows he means it. Forgiveness comes rushing in.
His wife will never forget it happened, of course, but she knows she’s been given a new lease on her marriage and she grabs it.
The other woman has also been given a new lease on life, if she chooses to accept it. She can stay and fight for a memory or walk away. She chooses to walk away.
All three of the players in this drama have choices to make about how will they conduct themselves in the future based on what they know from the past.
In sharing this story, I’m saying that sometimes… I wish I could just forget some of the bad decisions I’ve made. You know, move forward without that knowledge that knocks me on my ass routinely – almost cyclically – every few months or so.
But maybe now I’ll remember the lines from the book: There are secrets that must be held close, and most of these have to do with the wounding of the human heart, for sorrow spoken aloud is sorrow lived through twice.
It’s not that the memories need to be forgotten or a new lease on life needs to be given…
It’s just that my secrets are just that… secrets. And so true that they’re “woundings of the human heart”… oh yes, deep woundings.
And … to speak of them over and over again…
Is simply to wound over and over again.
I’m wounding mySELF over and over again.
And maybe, you too. Whoever is reading.
I love those lines so much and for that reason alone, I will keep this book forever.
After Christmas, I’ll come back and share more about it, including the title and author. I promise!