Me and My Big Mouth

No doubt about it, the greatest weapon I own is my mouth.  I have deflated dreams, disappointed dependents, defied orders, dispersed defeat, and even tried to kill relationships…all with a flash of my tongue and a few ill-chosen words. A more conventional weapon wasn’t necessary to target the heart of those in my scope.

As much as I would like to blame others for causing me to say the things I have, that wouldn’t really be fair. There always is an option when it comes to my mouth: keeping it shut.

I also find it interesting that my mental hard drive remembers the words directed at me, but I seem to have selective recall of the ones I recklessly sling outward.

As a child, words changed my family. One set of grandparent’s harsh words to the other set severed the relationships between them all.  Those words and their feelings infiltrated my parents and eventually they separated. Much later, on my wedding day, the two sides were so estranged due to their word wars, they hardly spoke. They didn’t even bother to come to my sister’s wedding. There was no such thing as a family reunion in my life.
Holidays were always such a reminder of what we were missing together. My elders have now passed on, but there was never a reconciliation. Instead of offering words that could have been joyful paving stones for a shared journey, their words were headstones marking the graves of dead relationships.

It now seems so senseless. It’s almost sinister how words can linger in the mind cells and become their own evil cancer. And then I can make it worse with a tendency to add my own emphasis to what I hear.

Sad but true, it's easiest to hurt the ones closest to you.
So why would I do the same to my own family?  Is it a genetic tendency…or a propensity to slander? I wish I could scrub my ill-thought words out of their hearts and minds. I've apologized…yet my glib, sarcastic tongue has landed enough careless blows that I wish I could have been more caring.

I've finally learned that some thoughts just aren't worthy to speak. I no longer want to win arguments at the cost of someone’s heart. 

Words robbed me of some treasured times growing up. I won't let it happen again. Here’s the good news: the same mouth that can wound can also offer love, hope, encouragement and forgiveness. Do whatever you can to restore those in your life. Even if the hurtful words weren't your own, build a bridge so you won't lose time together. Hurting words create a prison and love is the key that unlocks the door.

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