One of the few arguments my husband and I had was about something beneath the surface. At the time, we were dealing with some discipline issues with our kids. They were typical teenaged issues, but one of our daughters, who is autistic, was taking it personally. So, I felt he was being too hard on her. Normally, it would have been fine, but my concern was that she might question his love for her.
Yet, I didn’t want to say this.
I didn’t want to say, “What about when you die? What if she doesn’t feel loved by you, and it’s too late to convince her, otherwise?” At that time, we didn’t talk much about him dying. It was the elephant in the room, hanging out beneath the surface, using its trunk as a periscope.
Then, one day I did say it. I’d felt the tension in our home all week. Then, the girls went to a camp for kids with a parent who has cancer and Dan and I were alone—a rare gift. We finally put all of the cards on the table. I told him my concerns. “I would rather be the bad guy,” I said. “I have the luxury of time. Let her be angry with me; She and I can make it up later. You may not be able to do that.”
He had his concerns beneath the surface, too.
He looked at me and said, “I don’t want to leave you to have to deal with these issues by yourself. Not now, and certainly not after I’m gone.” There it was. He’d said it. We had both aired our concerns and they were filled with love for one another; a desire to protect the other. It was interesting how much tension we could fill a room with, all because of these, unspoken fears, and how much understanding could come from speaking them.
I’m doing double duty this month during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, I will share ideas for “Thinking Creatively.” I’ll also be doing the challenge at Facing Cancer with Grace, where I will focus on “Avoiding Burnout.” I hope you’ll visit me at both sites. While you’re here, sign up for my email list. Today’s post is X is for Using X-Ray Vision to See Beneath the Surface.
Our emotions play a key role in the decisions we make. One research study even showed that sunny days, which make us feel happy, caused a boost in stock market performance. Think about a challenge you’re facing. Look beneath the surface of “what is” and drill down into “what is the real problem.”
- What are the deeper needs of your users or customers?
- What problem are they really trying to solve?
- What do they want in the ideal world?
- What would make them happiest?
- What fresh ideas can you come up with to truly delight them?
Have you ever had an experience like this, when just saying what’s really on your mind could save you a lot of trouble?
What Are YOUR Thoughts?
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I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace. My books are available at Amazon.com:
I also blog about living with cancer at Facing Cancer with Grace.