Day 304 of 366 Blog Challenge 2012
Have you ever had the experience of saying something on the spur of the moment to a friend and then regretting your words almost immediately? And then you discover, to your dismay, that you cannot take them back! They may not even be nasty words, they may simply be hasty words … that were better left unsaid.
This happened to me recently. In fact, it happened to me one day and then I made the mistake of it happening again to someone different the next day. Oh dear, how I did regret my hasty reply. I have been mulling on this ever since, wondering how I can put a guard at the door of my mouth to vet what comes out of it!
Then today, I came across this picture on my Facebook feed from a site called ‘Love Heals Us’ and it felt as if God and His universe were speaking directly to ME. Sure, I have apologised for my hasty words, but the guilt it has left behind has lingered this week and I want to learn from my hastiness.
I have found that when I am busy rushing around, somehow the guard at the door of my mouth does not get fed and things get past her and out it all comes. However, when I take the time – early in the day – to spend some time in meditation on things much bigger than myself, it keeps me grounded and I am less likely to offend.
The thing is folks, sometimes it feels as if I am too busy to put aside that time because I am due somewhere, or I went to bed late and therefore do not get up in time the next day. Why oh why, do I do that?? In fact, when I went to work at the same time every day, I was a lot more disciplined about having some “Quiet Time” before I left for work.
I knew that if I missed it I would be history for the rest of my working day! Yet now, because I do not work, I think I have all the time in the world to meditate but things get out of control and I fail to have it.
And friends, I am the poorer for it. Poorer for failing to ground myself in Truth, for failing to fill up my own tank so that I can fill up someone else’s, for failing to feed the guard who lives at the door of my mouth! For if the guard is not fed, she can do untold damage in relationships by the words that are said.
There is a scripture that says: “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45) Put simply this means that one needs first to attend to what is hidden in your heart because if you do not, something hasty perhaps, will come out of your mouth. This is what happened to me!
Have any of you tried to live this philosophy of keeping the heart ‘clean’ so to speak? Try it sometime, it is really difficult to achieve. In fact, at one stage I brought a saying of this kind to put on my fridge as I battled to keep myself from thinking thoughts that were not nice. Sometimes it needn’t even come out of our mouths, but I have found that if it is lurking down deep in our hearts, it may just pop out when we least expect it to!
I love this piece which I came across, written by Edith Schaeffer who presents a lovely view of family life and relationships in her book: “What Is a Family?”
“One lesson I tried to teach my children from an early age, repeating over and over again … was the fact that some things must never be said, no matter how hot the argument, no matter how angry one becomes, no matter how far one goes in feeling: “I don’t care how much I hurt him (or her).”
This is something I have tried to keep in mind in my own life and while I acknowledge that it is hard to know the difference between what needs to be said to clear the air and what is said on purpose to injure and hurt, it is good to be aware. Edith must be quite a sensible woman because she added:
“Some things are like throwing indelible ink on a costly work of art, or smashing a priceless statue just to make a strong point in an argument.”
Doesn’t this give you a concrete picture in your mind of what words said in anger can do? I read on a review that far from creating a sense of guilt about perfection, Edith demonstrates that in this world in which we live, we will never do it all perfectly but that the effort is worth every sacrifice we make to try.
Oh how I relate to this … especially the bit about ‘never doing it perfectly!’ But, does this give us permission NEVER to try? I don’t think so. In conclusion, I would like to leave you with a piece of the ditty I wrote on my birthday on 7th October which I believe sums it all up for me.
So I suppose I am saying to all of you ‘out there’: “take heart from these words below for how else can we live with ourselves when we fail?” So with this thought, I will get up and go on, continuing to remember to feed the Guard who lives at the door of my mouth and forgiving myself when I fail! Remember: BEFORE YOU SPEAK THINK!
HOW DID I GET THIS OLD?
I GOT THIS OLD not by always doing everything perfectly
But by admitting that I was far from perfect and often stuffed up
I got this old by always striving to be the best person that I could be
Even if sometimes I had to backtrack, apologise and start afresh.