This week I am writing to Thank you! for your love and support. It is a somewhat overwhelming task to write a book, and even more so when writing about something so personal as my wife’s experience.
In my previous post, Not my Dis-ease, I captured a few of the responses from friends and family regarding the memoir. The feedback has been amazing! But, some may consider feedback from friends and family a little lopsided. Well, regardless, back in May my writing was put to the test in the form of feedback from an outside source; KIRKUS Reviews. It was May 25th when I received an email from my publisher confirming the review had been completed and posted to their website…for the world to see! Ahhh!
Moments later (many moments later) I clicked on the link, click! My web browser burst open on the screen, Ka-pow! Like a firework lighting up the sky on Independence Day the review flashed on the page. I closed my eyes while thoughts fired through my mind, What does it say? What if it is bad? What if it is awesome? I have no idea what it is going to say. I don’t want to read it. It’s going to be awful. Nah, it will be great. I wrote it from a place of love and honesty, so it will be good. All right Tom, just go ahead and read it. Be brave!
No longer able to avert the words cascading across my screen, I peered through the slits in my eyelids and slowly opened my eyes to begin reading. This was over seventy-five days ago when I read this and I didn’t like it much.
Today, on the seventy-sixth day, I read the review once again and am now ready to share it with you. I now realize my initial reading was clouded by my own judgement and fear. This lead me to believe it was a poor review. I was so fearful of failure and criticism that I did not see the positive comments and success scattered throughout.
Once my fear dissipated, I re-read the review. This new vantage point allowed me to see it in a different light, enabling me to accept it for what it was. I moved past my fear and forward on to the next step as an author and inspirational communicator.
Sometimes fear has a strange effect upon our view of the world making it seem scary, possibly even threatening. These misperceptions often lead to reactions (retaliation) that we may later regret. I held onto this for seventy-six days and finally decided to see it for what it truly was.
In my previous article, I reflected upon the Buddhists saying/teaching, “If someone offers you a gift and you refuse to accept it, to whom does it belong?” I saw this gift in the wrong light, clouded by my fear and did not want to accept it. In reading it once again, from the viewpoint of love and acceptance, I see this gift as something very powerful and positive.
My wife was presented with several ‘reviews’ of her diagnosis back in 2003. Her fear could have led to decisions she may have later regretted, but she kept her focus. By remaining steadfast, and belief in herself resolute, any fears that entered did not linger. Because she was brave enough to see things clearly, she triumphed and now has two birthdays to celebrate every year!