Tell Me More | Kelly Corrigan

Summary of: Tell Me More: Stories about the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say
By: Kelly Corrigan


In “Tell Me More: Stories about the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say,” Kelly Corrigan shares her journey of self-discovery and personal growth in a deeply relatable and honest narrative. Through various experiences, Corrigan explores the power of words and communication as a means to build and maintain relationships, cope with grief, and become a better parent. Tackling diverse themes such as learning to listen rather than offer solutions, the role of religious faith, acknowledging imperfections and saying no as an act of self-preservation, this book summary takes you on an immersive journey through the chapters of Kelly’s life, providing insights and inspiration for navigating the complexities of human emotions and interpersonal relationships.

Just Like This

Kelly Corrigan remembers her meditation teacher’s motto, “just like this,” to help her navigate through life’s difficulties. In the midst of a hectic morning with her family, she reflects on her overwhelming grief after her father’s death. Despite her frustration, she learns to accept her present circumstances and let go of her anger.

Empathetic Listening

Parents can aid the growth of their children’s problem-solving skills by listening empathetically instead of offering immediate solutions. It can be challenging for parents to refrain from solving their children’s issues, but listening and allowing kids to figure problems out for themselves is essential. During a long car ride, two parents discussed how watching children struggle was like having the final piece of the puzzle in their pocket. When one parent’s child called with an issue, the other parent reminded her to listen and let her daughter talk. By summarizing her daughter’s feelings and acknowledging them, rather than offering immediate solutions, the parent helped her daughter understand her emotions better. The conversation aided the child in identifying the root cause of her problem and building the necessary skills to handle similar situations in the future.

Faith, Doubt, and Science

Kelly navigates the complicated relationship between faith, doubt, and science in the face of her father’s cancer diagnosis.

Kelly’s upbringing was rooted in Catholic tradition and the idea of faith without doubt. However, as she grew older, her relationship with religion became more complex. For her, church was a sensory experience that provided comfort and a social outlet. But when she and her father were diagnosed with cancer, Kelly’s faith took a backseat. While her parents turned to God, Kelly and her husband turned to science and the internet for answers.

As her father’s condition worsened, Kelly grappled with the idea of praying and calling upon her faith, which she had ignored for so long. Her friend Tracy argued that it was human ingenuity and scientific breakthroughs that saved her father, not God. Kelly was torn between the rationality of science and the inexplicable mystery of faith.

Even though her father’s recovery was deemed a miracle by some, Kelly was still skeptical. she struggled to reconcile science and religion, recognizing that neither offered a clear explanation for the unexplainable. In the end, all we can do is acknowledge our uncertainty and say, “I don’t know.”

Kelly’s story highlights the intricate relationship between faith, doubt, and science, especially in the face of serious illness.

The Power of Saying No

Kelly learns the true value of saying no, after struggling with cancer and facing the harsh reality of not being able to have more kids. As a child, saying no was easy, but as an adult, it becomes increasingly difficult because it feels impolite, unkind, or lazy. Saying no, however, is critical in relationships and fundamental to self-preservation. Kelly realized this when she proposed alternative solutions for expanding their family, but her husband said no, considering his mental state and overall well-being. Saying no can be a hard pill to swallow, but it is necessary to ensure both parties’ health and foster long-term relationships.

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