“Huwag ka na nga magyoga (Stop practicing yoga).”
I was stunned when I heard those words mouthed out to me by the owner of the resort where I’m staying upon hearing about my injuries. And they were uttered with a distinct tone of authority! 😮
None of the “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that…”
None of the “Is there anything I can do? Is there anything you need?”
As I shared in my earlier post, I recently had minor injuries on my wrist and back from yoga practice. I was almost immobile for a couple of days! My back is now healed, thankfully, but my wrist is still wrapped in a bandage.
Granted she didn’t mean for me to stop practicing yoga permanently and only for the time-being until I would have fully recovered — which was a no-brainer and goes without saying — a show of compassion would have been the most fitting and loving response.
Considering she is the resort owner/manager, I had also hoped and expected her to offer some help. To tell me to not hesitate to ask her or any of her staff for any assistance — medical or whatever else. That’s pretty basic, one would think.
None of that.
Her instinctual response was to find something wrong with what I did that caused my injuries. To find something wrong with me. She was fault-finding. Well, at least that’s how I felt and how I interpreted what she said.
Was I being ‘too sensitive?’
Although, the last thing that a sensitive person needs to hear is to be told they’re ‘too sensitive.’ Right, fellow sensitives? 😉 Even more so when they’re in pain or not in an optimal state of well-being!
Anyhow, I probably wouldn’t have felt as offended or perceived what she said as such had she simply said, “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that….”
I’d have much preferred that she told me that. Those words would have quickly given me a boost. It would have easily lifted anyone’s spirits — sensitive or not. It would have made me or anyone feel comforted and cared for.
Unfortunately, there’s no direct translation into the Filipino language for “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that….” In the Filipino language and the Filipino psyche, the words, “I’m sorry…” only means one thing — the person is apologizing. 😦
Oh, I’ve made numerous attempts to explain to and educate my fellow countrymen that these words also mean something else — to show compassion. It gets even more complicated, though. ‘Compassion’ also does not have a direct and accurate translation into Filipino, yikes! 😮
Filipinos normally say, “Naku, kawawa ka naman…” to someone who is suffering or going through something. But the English translation of those words is, “Oh, poor you….”
Now that doesn’t exactly mean or show compassion, right? Those words are a sign of pity. A show of sympathy. Not the same thing, eh?
In fact, those words do the opposite of uplifting which is what a person needs when they’re going through a challenging situation. Hearing those words even makes the person who is suffering feel unnecessarily sorry for themselves.
With the prevalent victim consciousness of the average Filipino, though, such a response is the norm. It’s expected. Accepted. Instinctual. Cultural.
Granted that the Filipino language may have its limitations in equipping the person with the ability to accurately verbally express compassion…
Does that give them the excuse to not be able to show it? Does that justify their lack of sensitivity to the feelings of the person in pain? Should that limit them in making the person feel cared for?
In my opinion, there mustn’t be a limitation or hindrance to one’s capability to demonstrate care and concern — language-related or whatever else — especially one that’s sincere and heartfelt.
But what if the person is, in fact, so callous and uncaring? What if the person isn’t genuinely concerned about the other, what then is there to demonstrate, right? Or might the inability to demonstrate concern be because of an unresolved resentment toward the other — moi, in this case? 😦
Whatever the case may be, perhaps when dealing with such a disconcerting situation like mine, it was the best way that the resort owner knows how. The only way.
She may have meant well. Her response may have been well-intended. She may have thought that she was ‘helping’ alleviate my suffering and pain by offering her suggestion — albeit unsolicited and even ill-timed, from my perspective and given the circumstances.
Perhaps she does genuinely care.
One could only hope.
Nurturing is not complex.
It’s simply being tuned in to the thing or person before you
and offering small gestures toward what it needs at that time.
~ Mary Anne Radmacher, author of Lean Forward Into Your Life
This morning, I came across the article from The Huffington Post, “10 Things You Shouldn’t Say To Someone With Chronic Illness.” It struck a chord as it reiterates my sentiments that “it’s [in] the delivery of the message that [we] can sometimes be off.”
A dose of sensitivity will certainly go a long way in soothing someone else’s pain.
Blaming the person for their misery isn’t the most loving, respectful or kind thing to do — most especially when the person is still right smack in the middle of a physical, emotional or mental turmoil. It’s the opposite, in fact.
Blaming them and making them feel wrong only aggravates their pain. Putting the person down only makes them feel even more miserable. And it doesn’t matter if that’s not one’s intention.
When we encounter someone who’s in pain or is going through something challenging, may we remember that the most loving thing — no, the only thing that we must do is to be compassionate. Be sensitive. Comfort them. Cheer them up. Be encouraging.
And if we cannot be or do that — if we don’t know how — it’s better not to say anything.
After all, be it Filipino or any other language, silence is universal.
Words can make a deeper scar than silence can heal. ~ Author Unknown
😀 ⭐ ❤ ⭐ 😀
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