When we were young, my brothers and I would snitch on each other the way kids do. My mother would always tell us, ‘If you have nothing good to say, don’t say nothing at all”, quoting Thumper’s mummy (from Disney’s Bambi). She refused to listen to these snitching.
It has taught us one important thing: it is never good to talk bad about anyone, however justified. It serves no purpose other than self-gratification to bad mouth.
My wise friend John told me this story. He had a girlfriend, whom we shall call Caroline. After a year of going out, Caroline forced John to decide whether he would marry her or not. John refused to make the decision with the proverbial gun held to his head. Caroline broke off the relationship in a huff. That was despite the fact that everything was going very well between them and that John got on with Caroline’s whole family. At Christmas, John sent a card to Caroline’s parents. Caroline’s father returned John’s card with a harshly worded note telling John that he was the biggest scum on earth (or something to that effect).
A while later, Caroline decided that she was being childish and decided to get back with John. They did get back, but John’s relationship with Caroline’s father was damaged beyond repair. In the end, it was this that broke them up finally.
What a person says to you about another person is a good indication of what he or she will say about you in future, despite how good the going currently is. So listen carefully to the Inner Voice that people speak with.
On a personal level, I knew someone who does not have a kind Inner Voice. This person always had something harsh, judgmental and painful to say about people. I suspended my natural caution because she had always held me in the highest regard, with admiration and gratitude of what I am and what I had done for her. Yet based on hearsay, that amiability was turned into something ugly, a tongue-lashing that went beyond the norm. I was shocked, devastated and hurt, but the Inner Voice speaketh.
My mother’s lesson is a blessing because it saved my family life. When my children’s father and I separated, we refused to divulge the reasons. We fought behind close doors, we tore at each other and we hurt each other. But open the doors and we presented a united front. We did not have a bad word to say against each other despite the massive hurts we were going through. Till this day, years later, no one is any the wiser about the reasons we broke up. All people knew were the good things we said of each other.
You see, it is a mindset. It is a culture that you grow up with. It is nothing to do with not telling the truth – truth has to be imparted with kindness and love instead of being used as a weapon of destruction. Being unkind verbally serves no purpose even if it is ‘telling the truth’. Whose truth?
There is a lovely man called Bill from Yorkshire whom I have never met. He is the friend of a friend. Bill has a healing list: just give him your name and date of birth, and he will send lots of good energy and positivity your way. Free of charge.
As the old year comes to an end, my sincerest wish is that people would speak with more kindness and gentleness in the new year, to move humanity to a warmer and happier space.
Three ways to change your Inner Voice:
- Forgive yourself and forgive others. Most of the time, we use words not to communicate with someone, but to reaffirm our deepest hurts to help us to move on from those past hurts. By forgiving, you release your past and live in the NOW, which enables you to communicate authentically.
- Tell yourself that you are fine just as you are. Often, the unkind words leveled at others are to help you feel better about yourself. You do not have to make others feel bad in order to make yourself feel good. Just tell yourself everyday that you are fine just as you are.
- Turn unkindness into something beautiful. Remove those dirty spectacles. Try to see with your heart the goodness in people and you will see it. It is only when you see the goodness of others that you see it in yourself. Try praising others, cut out the harsh judgment and criticism. In time, the praise will become you.