Kia ora, e pe¯ hea ana koe? Hi, how are you? I have been asked that a fair bit over the past week or so. I suppose a few people know I had my appendix out – also I haven’t been looking so well, so it is kind of obvious something is up.
Mostly, I have been brave enough to say, ‘‘You know what? I’m not feeling that great. I’m in a fair bit of postoperative pain, I’m not sleeping well, my bowel is not working properly, and it’s frustrating me that I’m not getting better faster.’’
What has been really powerful is that people have listened and been very caring. I’m not used to being reached out to like that, to be honest. I’m usually the one looking after other people. It has given me a lot of insight into the need for us to be real about how we are actually feeling and coping with the reality of our lives.
What tends to happen more often is the ‘‘How are you? I’m fine’’ dance. Superficial, because we all buy into the ‘‘busy’’ equals ‘‘I am of value’’ principle of life. In other words, the unspoken code is: I’m too busy to be anything other than fine and you are too busy to listen if I’m not, so what’s the point in sharing anything real? You know what I mean, right? Guilty as charged, we are all highly proficient at this.
Because I have healing surgical incisions to prove my state of recovery, I have things to point the proverbial stick at. And this underlines for me yet again how uncaring our society is around people healing and recovering from conditions without external scars.
People in the midst of, on the edge of, or working their way through various states of emotional pain and suffering remain largely unnoticed, and worse – they know the social code that requires they are supposed to remain unnoticed, invisible. The pain is to be hidden, thank you very much.
We are a long, long way from building caring communities where people feel safe to talk openly about what
Poipoia te ka¯kano, kia pua¯wai.
Nurture the seed in order to support flourishing.
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