When I had cancer people said the most outrageous things to me. Theses included such wisdom as ‘Oh its Karma‘ and ‘I know exactly what you’re going through because my 94 year old father has cancer‘ and ‘Good things will come out of this‘. Worse and less was said to me. And because none of us know what to say to people in difficult situations like death or cancer these efforts to be supportive were not what I needed
There is nothing good in cancer. I don’t believe in Karma or evil people wouldn’t continuously get away with doing evil things and because your 94 year old father has cancer that doesn’t mean you understand what its like to be 40, with young children and being told you may have 3 months to live.
But none of the people who said these things said them with the intention to hurt me. In fact the opposite was true. All these things were said in love, with the intent to be helpful, to empathise and to be supportive.
So I learnt it is not what people say that should be judged but their intent. I could choose to be offended or I could choose to look at the real meaning which was usually an effort to be kind.
So now I try not to hold unrealistic expectations of others. I try not to judge their words but their intent and I try to cut other people some slack.
Of course I fail often and then I emotionally beat myself up and my husband Pete says, ‘Hey Robbi cut yourself some slack.’