This popped up in my Facebook memories today. I posted it a year or so ago and I stand by it today.
Here it is:
Some things are better left unsaid, which means that they are things that don’t need to be said AT ALL. With that in mind, things ARE said can’t be UNsaid.
There is much to be said for the phrase “think before you speak.” What you say can’t be taken back. If you mean “no offense” but proceed with saying something offensive, then prefacing your offensive comment with “no offense” is pointless. Rather than saying “no offense” you should really be saying “brace yourself because I’m about to say something offensive to you.”
Thinking before you speak doesn’t mean “I’m going to think about what I’m about to say before I say it and I’m thinking about these words and how I want to say them and now I will say them.” That isn’t it. It also isn’t, “well, I just thought these words so I must say them now.” What “think before you speak” really means is this…think about how what you want to say will affect the receiver and those who may hear you say it. Would you be receptive to what you are about to say? Is what you’re going to say going to make this world a better place? Is what you’re about to say helping or hurting? Is what I’m going to say here loving? I hope so.
I take a good look at myself and I KNOW I have not been a good example of this, and if you know me, you know this to be true. I refuse to live in the past (and, for the record, would like to remember much of that which I’ve forgotten and forget much of that which I remember) but I know that I have said a lot of things that have hurt a lot of people. I haven’t been a good example of speaking charitably. But I want to be. I want to work every day at shunting the temptation to open my mouth because I have left it flapping in the wind for far too long.
Only in the past year (or so) have I moved closer to this, although I’ve known about it for some time before working at it, practicing…and if I were the tattoo type, I’d get a tattoo of this on the inside of my forearm…and it is THIS:
Is it TRUE?
Is it KIND?
Is it NECESSARY?
If it doesn’t answer all three, then it doesn’t need to be said. If we all lived this way, the world would be a quiet place. I know I’m not going to live this way when I should. I expect that my face will give me away before I say anything at all (because my face often betrays me) but I want to live this way. Does my wanting to live this way mean that I’m going be able to do it 100% of the time?
As I type this I am thinking is any of this necessary? Is what I’m saying being said charitably enough? Are others going to see it as my truth or will they misinterpret what I’m saying?
I don’t want to live the rest of my life fretting over how someone’s going to receive what I have to say. But if what I say is True, Kind, and Necessary, then I won’t have to fret as much.
As a Catholic wife and mother, and a forever Grateful Chic, I’ve been charged with a great deal of responsibility. I don’t take that responsibility lightly. If I am to truly live as a Daughter of God then I have to be just that. And Grateful. A Daughter of The King. If I put myself out to the world as anything other than that, I am a hypocrite. I want to practice what I preach. How can I share the practice of gratitude with someone when I’m not practicing it myself? Why would anyone believe that gratitude can change their life, if I’m not living proof of it?
In order to practice gratitude, I have to see things as blessings. I have to. God does. I know He does. Because He takes all things and uses them for good. All things. I have faith that He will take even the ugliest and most horrible things and turn them for good.
Words hurt. Things that are said can’t be unsaid.
He’s going to turn all of that around. No take-backs.
I’m going to keep being a Grateful Chic and being grateful while working on speaking in Truth, Kindness, and when Necessary. I will mess up and I will ask for reconciliation.
And that’s all I have to say about that.