epiph·a·ny: noun \i-ˈpi-fə-nē\
: a Christian festival held on January 6 in honor of the coming of the three kings to the infant Jesus
: a moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way
— definition from http://www.merriam-webster.com
Epiphany: a time to contemplate moments from our past when sudden shafts of light of understanding remove shadows from events or concepts. Epiphany moments make us pause; they bring us up short. Sometimes they send the path of our life off in a direction 90° from where it was moments before. Sometimes we raise our hands high in the air and shout with the joy of illumination. Sometimes we spend some time thinking and absorb the new information into our brain library.
I’m sure you remember such moments in your own life. Everyone has some.
I had a small one earlier this week. A friend of mine is undergoing cancer treatments, and in a recent Facebook post he shared some details of his radiation treatment experience. He chose to share the information widely to answer to the inquiries he receives, and I expect the sharing had therapeutic value for him too.
In his post he wrote about being bolted down and inserted into the radiation machine. He speculated about what a challenge the small space would be for people who are claustrophobic. “Thanks fully I’m not,” he wrote.
When I was reading his post I paused at this point. The phrase brought me up short. He could have written “Thankfully I’m not,” but he didn’t. His way of writing that phrase conveyed the depth of his gratitude in a way that the words “thank” and “fully” crammed together would not.
Joining those two words together diminishes each one; together they are not stronger, but weaker.
I have spent some time thinking about this new information, and I have absorbed it into my brain library.
In future, when my gratitude is deep, when I want to use the strongest phrasing to convey it, I will let “thanks” and “fully” stand alone in their power.
A small epiphany prompted by a friend facing big challenges. Thanks fully.