It is the second day of January and already I feel terrible about myself. I don’t make resolutions; instead I vow (daily) to be the best person possible. Today I failed . . . miserably.
It was my mouth that got me in trouble, saying something negative about someone, spewing unkind words, hurling hurt far away from me. The only problem with word hurling is that most-times those words boomerang and strike the hurler in the face, or in my case, the heart.
My daughter immediately called me on the carpet, pulled me aside and had a “mother moment,” one where my own words echoed in my ears. Her sentence began with, “we don’t talk about people…ever!”
My daughter is going to make an excellent mother one day, better than I am, or ever shall be.
But we do talk about people, don’t we? We talk about people all the time. We tweet, mock, whisper things about others. Instantly my heart was pricked. I was pained for several reasons, the least being that she was right to correct me. The trouble with my mouth is its speed. While I do not like to be around people who tear others down, today I was guilty of doing that which I despise. My tongue was ten times faster than my brain. The trouble with the mouth is that it says what our heart feels. Most days I have a stop-gap. Today, my stop-gap failed.
Or did it? My stop-gap didn’t exactly fail. I jumped over it while throwing words like Iron Man shoots powerful beams.
However, my actions had unexpected consequences. I became the same person I want to avoid. I could defend, explain, or rationalize the reason why I chose negativity, could tick the history off all ten fingers, list the many reasons why I was justified in saying what I did. However, that would allow me to stay safe in my cozy comfort zone. I could convince you that I am injured, the one who was lied to, the one wronged. And as long as I remained wronged and injured I am in control, never allowing another to correct their wrongdoings, but worse, never growing and maturing as a person.
I have a dear friend who has never uttered a negative word. I don’t know how he does it. I want to be that person. Maybe I need more Jesus in my heart, or duct tape over my mouth. One thing is for certain, I must change.
My daughter’s words were more powerful than mine because they made me stop. Almost immediately I thought If I had wronged another how could I make things right. How would I prove that I am sorry, that I have changed, that I am pulling my life together?
“Your words really convicted me,” I said to my daughter. She didn’t want to talk about it, didn’t want me to explain my actions. She just wanted me to stop talking. [For the record, my unkindness wasn’t toward her or my husband. I must confirm that before the family starts ringing my telephone].
“I appreciate you pointing out my shortcomings,” I said. “This helps me understand that my words can be hurtful, helps me understand that other people see me differently than I see myself.”
My lesson today, dear friends, is this: my words hurt me and no one else.
My daughter wedged earphones in her ears as I prayed that one day I can be the person I so desire to be. Until then, on this second day of January, I am left reflecting why I do what I do, already regretting that 2014 began with my own negativity.
Tell me, how are you on this second day of the resolution season?