I mentioned yesterday how cranky some of my buddies got that the civilian internet didn't work for a day and a half. It turns out their crankiness, in part, stemmed from their response to spouses back home who'd jumped to (inevitably) erroneous conclusions as to why they'd not heard from their beloved.
"I thought you were mad at me."
"Are you having an affair? Is that what's really going on?"
"Don't you know that I worry when I don't hear from you? Why do you do this to me?"
The list goes on and on and on, but since I don't want to have to join a 12-Step program concerning that sort of thing (On-and-On-and-On-Anon), I'll just stop there. I think you get the drift.
What is it about us humans, that if given the opportunity, so many of us will immediately jump to the worst of all possible eventualities -- when there's absolutely no evidence to support the conclusion we reach?
At the moment, as I mentioned a short while ago, a number of Soldiers here are pretty spun up because an important decision, which was sort-of announced, has yet to be made. We've heard various deadlines put forward concerning The Announcement, but all have come and gone, so far.
(I'd thought that Army leadership was about making decisions....)
As a consequence of all this, there's been much anxiety and disquiet on the part of Soldiers who have been left in the dark. Not a big surprise there, given what I just mentioned about the propensity to jump to the worst conclusion!
I'll reiterate what I posted not long ago: Stick with what's true right now!
I keep telling my Soldiers here to focus on that, and not on the rumors.
For those back home who got all hot and bothered because their Soldier didn't call home as expected -- take a deep breath. No, take several.
Then, stick with what's true.
Now, take more deep breaths.
What's true, in the situation of expecting a call that didn't come, is that the call didn't come. Period.
All the speculation or recrimination or self-flagellation or condemnation or whatever else might be swirling around the situation merely leads to more frustration in the absence of knowing the whole story. Why do that to oneself, or to one's beloved (or to the children, for that matter)?
Stick with what's absolutely, undeniably, incontrovertably true: No phone call came.
That's it. That's all it is.
Playing out all sorts of dire scenarios in the mind does nothing at all to help the situation -- especially when there's no evidence on which to base those storylines; jumping to those kinds of conclusions only makes for more stress than is already present.
And more often than not, there's plenty enough stress to begin with, so why add even more?
And why is it that those scenarios we manufacture out of thin air are always dire, anyway?
Blessings and peace to one and all,(Now, to be fair, I have to remind you that my opinion in no way reflects any Official Army Opinion, and I have refrained from posting any Official Army Insignia, Crest, Logo, Device, Standard, Banner, Guidon, Ribbon, Medal, or Whatnot on this web page in the hopes that you wouldn't be confused into thinking otherwise.
(Who knew that some people could think that other people could so easily be confused, eh?))
Fr. Tim, SJ