Recently, I had what I call a duct tape moment.
We were watching some show on TV in which a couple had gotten married and they had won a big honeymoon package. Not thinking, I said out loud and sarcastically, “How stinkin lucky are they! When I got married instead of getting a honeymoon, I won 2 babies.” As soon as those words came out of my mouth, I wanted to slap myself because in horror I realized that little man and little lady were playing nearby. And they don’t miss anything. Anything.
“Someone, please duct tape my mouth.”
Little man looked at me and I smiled at him, while praying that he had neither heard nor understood the meaning behind my words. I let out a big sigh of relief as he jumped up and said “You were the big winner of us!”And they both came running into my arms as they screamed “You are so lucky that you won us!” Of course I reassured them that I was indeed the big lucky winner and that they were much better then going to that place on TV.
Everything turned out fine. I recovered my words without them knowing but still it got me to thinking about the power of my words. The power they have to build up or to tear down…to heal or to hurt…to give or to take away from. I think what comes or doesn’t come out of a persons mouth say’s a lot about them.
What do my words say about me?
If I am willing to be brutally honest with myself and you, then I would admit that there are times, I really need to do a better job of keeping my mouth shut. Seriously. There are times, I stop and listen and hear in horror that the voice behind those words is mine.
Do you ever have those moments when you hear yourself talking but you just can’t shut up? It’s those times I want to scream,“Help me Lord, I’m talking and I can’t shut up!”
Having diarrhea of the mouth is embarrassing…especially in hind sight…and especially when you have a young audience…any audience for that matter…that can mistake the meaning behind your words…that will go on to repeat those words or worse yet, remind you for years to come that you said “that”. Ugh.
I have gotten better over the years at keeping my thoughts to myself…to think before I speak….at least with the real obvious things. This does not mean that I don’t on occasion, let my thoughts form into words that come out of my lips. Actually this is probably a lie because I’m sure I do this far more than I realize. Hence the example I shared at the beginning of this post. Ugh.
Do you ever catch yourself sharing thoughts that you should probably keep to yourself?
I have mastered the art of self control in not swearing or saying “naughty” words out loud, especially when little ears are around to hear or inappropriate times. In fact for the most part, this former potty mouthed, talk like a drunken sailor(no offense to any sailors)has been reformed over time, for the most part. Mostly, due to becoming a mother and not wanting my children to repeat what I’m saying but mostly because I grew up and realized that talking with my potty mouth was not pretty. This does not mean that an occasional “naughty” word or two don’t escape these lips. And I will not lie, I swear in my head…some day’s more than other’s. Ugh.
Do you have a potty mouth?
I cringe when I think of the times I have spoken and yet my actions speak otherwise. Hypocrisy. Nothing bothers me more then when I fail to walk the talk or live what I’m teaching. Ugh.
I tend to be a positive person by nature but that doesn’t mean that negative crap doesn’t ever come out my mouth. If I have went too many nights without enough sleep. If I watch too much of the news or tv in general. If I spend too much time with negativity, it wants to come home with me. If I am not careful it tries to move in. Ugh.
Do you ever struggle with speaking negatively?
I think of the times that I have spoken out of ignorance or spoken out of anger or hurt…or out of not knowing the whole truth or information…or was insensitive in my words and how I wish that I could take my words back. But the thing is, there is no taking my words back once I say them. I can say I am sorry and ask for forgiveness but there is no deleting or wiping away the affects that my words caused. Ugh.
I know all too well the wounds caused by words. I know how words have hurt and cut me like a knife deep into my heart. I have forgiven the speaker of the words but years later, I still remember them. This is what drives me to care so much about what words come out of my mouth.
Have you ever been hurt or wounded by the words of someone?
Whether I realize it at the time or not, the little ears of my little people are almost always listening…even if I’m not talking directly to them…or in the same room as them. They hear me. They repeat me. They, for the most part, are mini-me’s…mimicking my words and actions in their play and their daily life.
They are forming beliefs about themselves and the world, by the things I speak…and of course the actions that go with those words. Much of the time, it is positive…I hear them talking and acting in such ways that are positive. But not always…sometimes I hear them or see them do something that is less then pretty and I know they learned it from me. Cringe. These are the moments that keep me humble as a parent.
When my now grown children were growing up I remember telling them “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” And every day before they left for school, I would say,“Watch your words. They have the power to bring someone down or bring someone up.”
Have you taught the children in your life anything about their words?
A few simple words that come out of our mouths have the power to make or break someone’s day. They have the power to uplift and give strength to someone that is weak. They have power to remind someone of their value and worth. Our words can tell someone they are not alone. And yet, our words can do just the opposite…if were careless with our words. Either way, our words make a difference.
Sometimes, things are better left unsaid. Sometimes things are better left said to someone more appropriate. Sometimes words need to be chosen more carefully. Sometimes there are things that should never be spoken. Sometimes silence speaks louder then my words. Sometimes there are things that need to be said and I need the courage to say them. Sometimes I just need to stop, shut my mouth and listen with both ears.
Someone, please get me the duct tape!
Do you ever have duct tape moments?