I never thought I was talking too much. I always thought it was just the right amount. I wasn't trying to be disruptive. Well, I take that back. Sometimes I was deliberately being disruptive, but I promise, usually I just had something really important that couldn't wait.
Those of you who know me, are glad to see that things haven't changed much since I was six. Honestly, I have been vexed with my mouth. I have tried, as I've gotten older, to tame that snake, but it is a difficult task. As I grew older, and hopefully a little wiser, I learned that perhaps I am not alone in my struggle.
The bible contains a wealth of information about controlling your tongue, and even contemporary writers have spoken to the wisdom of guarding your mouth. Life and death are at our own command, with just the small tool or our mouth.
How many times have you spoken a harsh word or an unkind word to someone who didn't deserve it? Do you remember their surprised or stunned look, wondering how you could say such a thing? I have often wondered how I could say such things.
Many of us try to watch what we eat, controlling what goes into our mouth. It's not what goes into your mouth that show's who you are, and what control you have, it's what comes out of a man's mouth that reflects his heart. It is hard to hide who you are when you begin to speak.
If you speak well of others, or ill of them, people will know you by your word. I have given thought about how I'd like to be known among my friends. I would like to be kind, and so I practice kindness. I would like to be patient and forgiving. And I would like to be thought of as someone who never spoke poorly.
Now. To practice that. Once the desire is in your heart you can begin to create that reality. The good news for each of us is that we have control. We have control over everything that goes into our own mouth, and we have control over everything that comes out of our mouth.
While this is a daunting realization, it is also freeing. I am free to sit quietly and take in what is happening. My mouth does not control my brain, and just because I think of the perfect witty comment, sarcastic comeback, or stinging insult, I am in control. I can choose quiet.
A lot of you are probably laughing, doubting that I could really exercise such restraint. Shakespeare wrote in Henry IV that discretion is the better part of valor. It is sometimes more noble to be cautious and reserved than to jump in with every thought that enters your head. I'm really saying this to myself. To convince myself that it is true, to reinforce for myself that I can control my tongue, and that it is a good thing.
I have often regretted a harsh or unkind word, but I have never, ever regretted saying something kind to someone, even someone who didn't deserve it. For many years, when I home schooled my children, we started the day with a memory verse. Time and again, I used a verse from the book of Proverbs, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but unkind words stir up anger.” My children, and more importantly, I learned that using unkind, harsh words served only to make an argument worse, while answering softly could diffuse an argument.
I am learning that how I speak is just important as how much. Often we get caught up in negative speaking about ourselves, our circumstances, or other people. Many parents over the years have admonished their children, “If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.”
There is a lot of merit to that statement. When we speak unkindly about ourselves, we begin to believe what we are saying. And when we speak unkindly about other people, others believe that is how we talk about everyone, even them.
By speaking a positive message we fill our lives with hope, and possibility. When we focus on the negative, about our job, or family, our life, we fill our world with unhappy, unsatisfied, unfilled energy. We are left always wanting more. Always seeking, searching and never content.
Speaking well about your own life will fill you with a sense of well being and joy. When you change your speaking from, “I hate this..” or “This make me so angry...” to “I am so thankful that....” you shift your entire world.
Changing the way you speak regarding your life, your health, your job, your relationships, your kids... that is the first step toward improving those things, and appreciating them for how great they really are.
We don't have to change everything. We just have to change one thing. Today, my friends, I challenge you to remove negative speaking from yourself. If someone is gossiping, you could sit quietly when they are finished, or say “Let's talk about something else.” If you hear yourself complaining about work, stop. Stop talking.
And then, after the silence is settled, speak your gratitude to the universe. I am so thankful.
Namaste my friends