Which do you choose?

The tongue has the power of life and death

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21 NIV)

I’ve found myself reflecting on this quite a bit lately. I’m really making a concerted effort to be calmer and wiser in 2014. I’m generally a very calm person. I’m still working on wise :-). But, my stress level can be on 10+ when dealing with the demands of work and family. It’s hard to find a moment for myself, and it starts to come out through my words. I find myself saying ” I can’t do this”, ” I need a break”, or “I need a husband” (especially, when I’m changing light bulbs and fixing items around the house. It never was my desire to be a “handy diva” :-).

It’s amazing how the word “can’t” becomes a fixture in my vocabulary when I’m stressed out. I thought of it as just “venting”. But, actually it’s just setting myself up for failure. I’m putting limitations on my abilities that don’t need to be there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying not to communicate your fears and emotions. I’m just saying remember your “words”. As the proverb says, “The tongue has the power of life and death”. So, with that power comes the great responsibility to make a choice of how you want to express yourself.

You have to choose whether you will allow your words to express this temporary feeling, but balance it with thoughts and words to get you past it. Or, do you decide to wallow “in your feelings”? That’s when we have a “pity party”, and lick our wounds. Again, there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone needs and deserves a moment. But, is it just a “moment” or a “vacation”?

A friend and I used to have a pact that we would give each other “thirty seconds”. Thirty seconds to feel sorry for ourselves, and then we had to move past it. That wasn’t always the case of course. But, that quick “reality check” would remind us it’s not that serious. So, instead of rehashing the situation. We made the choice to try again. Tomorrow is always another day.

So, instead of “venting”, I’m trying to be “honestly encouraging”. That means that I clearly articulate my frustrations. But, I remember that it’s just not that deep. The temporary feelings will fade away, if I don’t allow it to manifest in my thoughts or tongue. This is a life-lesson I struggle with everyday. But, I know it’s a choice. So, I’m choosing “life”. How about you?

Until we meet again!


Posted in Caregiving

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