Anne had been on the phone a long time and it was evident that the person on the other end had a lot on their mind! I am pretty sure it had been at least 10 minutes since Anne had said a word.
Finally, she spoke. “It sounds to me like you are making progress, Keith,” Anne said kindly. “I am very glad you are working through this with a qualified professional. I admire you and encourage you to continue!
“And please remember that I love you!”
There was another period where Anne was listening. Her face turned a bit red and she said, “Hmmm.
"No, I don’t intend for you to feel that I have assigned you a task. Now that you have pointed out the impact it has on you, I will not say that again.”
Anne put down the phone and turned to look at me.
“Wow. It never occurred to me that anyone would think I am telling them what to do. Keith just explained that whenever I say to him, “remember I love you” the impact is that he feels he has been given a job to do – that I have passed the responsibility for remembering on to him. And he doesn’t like it!
"He prefers that I say, "I love you!"
“How many times have I said, “the IMPACT our words have is much more important than our INTENTION.”
“I am very glad he told me. Otherwise, I would have gone on saying it.
“We need our readers to know that if I have had that impact, I am truly, truly sorry. I did not mean to hurt you, annoy you or instruct you. I just learned a profound lesson.”
Oh, my goodness. It certainly didn’t occur to me either. Well, I learned something today too!