At about 1am after an exhausting day, I finally got into bed to sleep knowing I had to be up by 6am. Mike talks a lot as I’m trying to fall asleep and he kept saying “I’m proud of you. I love you.” And guess what, I woke up proud of myself. We have been together for 18 years and a lot of negative words were spoken in those 18 years. A lot of people who know us now would be surprised at the struggles we had. I’m pretty transparent about our lives in hopes to help others. Words are SO powerful. They have the ability to speak life into someone or totally tear them down and destroy them. Words have healing power. Do we want to build up our loved ones or destroy them? Use your words wisely and speak life into those you love. Words are creative. Negative words can creative a slew of destruction including insecurity and doubt. Negative words cause pain. Pain causes destruction. Negative words can destroy marriages and relationships. Positive words can CREATE. How COOL is that when you really think about it? By what we speak, we can create hope, love, encouragement, excitement, motivation, relationships! I could go on and on. I think all too often we like to blame someone for their actions against us but we take no responsibility for our words or attitudes towards them. Our words don’t even have to be specifically against them to destroy a relationship with them. Negative words are not going to return to us in positive actions for the most part. It takes a whole lot of grace to respond to negativity with something positive. I’m not saying I’m positive all the time. Yesterday was an emotional day for me and I ended up in tears several times. The thing is, I don’t unpack and live there. Facing the tough parts of life and then focusing on the positive is not only my goal. it’s my survival strategy.
We have a responsibility to speak life into those we love. This is so important for those with brain cancer and their caregivers too. If you are suffering and you have a caregiver, you can breathe so much LIFE into them by thanking them. Build them up with words, tell them they are doing a good job and that you appreciate them. I bet they will be motivated to take even better care of you. If you are the caregiver, you can build up your loved one by using words to show them they are NOT a burden to you. Let them know it is an honor to care for them.
Sometimes with brain cancer, depending on what area of the brain is damaged or where the tumor is located, no matter what you do, there is anger and aggression. (It’s not limited to where the tumor is located. Sometimes the brain has swelling and that swelling causes pressure to another area of the brain. Different areas control different functions, but swelling can cause your loved one to have functionality issues in different areas.) It’s hard to let those words and actions bounce off us as caregivers. It’s hard to not let that cause damage to us and our relationships. I personally pray for grace in those moments. I’ve prayed for protection over my kids that in those moments that there is a hedge of protection around them. I’m trying so hard to lead my example for my kids. If they see me act in patience and kindness, they are more likely to do the same. I learned this the hard way. When I react to some of Mike’s behaviors with frustration, the kids do too. I don’t always succeed, but I do better than if I didn’t try at all. I’m human and my first instinct isn’t always to act in love and kindness. This is an interesting graphic about what areas of the brain can affect different functions. It is interesting to see because Mike’s tumor was discovered in his left occipital lobe and he can’t read because the letters don’t make sense anymore.