Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Holding Our Tongues

Fall Coming Like Three Sisters by Brian Kershisnik

I think a lot about how to be a better woman.

Two things I've read recently have my wheels turning.

Joseph Smith said:
“… Search yourselves—the tongue is an unruly member—hold your tongues about things of no moment—a little tale will set the world on fire.”

Cjane wrote:
"But (a woman's) powers are the most potent when used to love other women. To support. To carry. Lift. Encourage. Serve. Fight alongside. And in my experience, this is also the hardest part about being a woman. There are forces at work designed to turn woman against woman in an effort to completely destroy the massive amount of good we can do when united. But I also know that I feel the strongest as a woman, when I am helping another woman, or being helped by another woman--whether she is someone I know, or a someone who lives across the world."

I've been asking myself:
We all know how catty and back-biting and vicious women can be. Why do we ever participate in such conversations or observe in silence?

What kind of things could we be accomplishing when united with other women?

It's so easy to be annoyed by someone or judge another wrongly. Even easier to criticize someone, then justify such talk by finishing up with a 'but bless her heart.'

It's harder to forgive, choose not to be offended, collaborate with someone we don't 'click with,' and be the kind of woman who never speaks ill of another.

But that is exactly the kind of woman I am determined to be.



Kinyon Family said...

I found your blog through a friend, and I just want to thank you for this post. This has been something I've been really struggling with because of an experience the past week or so, and I really needed to read this.

Mandi said...

This has really been on my mind lately. Why do we as women do this? Does it all come down to being insecure?

I like to think that I'm a nice person and I don't say mean things. But I realized that I do when I want to get back at someone for hurting me. Now it's my turn to take the higher road, no matter what's said.

Natalie said...

Such a great post. May I join you on your quest? I tend to think its not REALLY bad,if I'm just venting to my mom or husband...but saying things out load makes it harder to change the way you feel about a person, slower to forgive because you've already put it out there--the way you feel about them. Without some sort of negative declaration, change of heart can come much more easily. Prayer always helps with that part as well.

Thank you for these words today. I'm inspired. Here we go...day one.

sharon said...

great post! i am really encouraged by how supportive and helpful the blogging community has been:)

bjahlstrom said...

This was very inspiring. I needed to hear this. Thank you.

Melissa said...

I loathe this kind of thing. I am watching it happen in one of the wards in my stake and it's horrible. Why? Do we not all belong to the same faith? I always like to believe that if I'm not speaking ill of anyone, then no one is speaking ill of me. I have not always been granted that courtesy, but the offending friend is the one who has caused the trouble in the ward I mentioned above. One person can wreak havoc. It's so awful to watch. It makes me so thankful that I learned early in my life not to participate in negative exchanges and disparage others. I probably sound pompous and/or judgmental. I'm not. I've just tried it both ways and I prefer to choose the better part. :)

Astyn said...

Hmmm... we have all done it. Why do we participate in such awful conversations? My best guess is that either 1) it helps us feel part of a group, or 2) it helps us feel better about ourselves. But I am sure we have all found that the people we gossip with don't usually turn out to be very good friends, and we don't really feel 'better' about ourselves, just more 'negative' about someone else. One of my best friends loves the mantra.... 'Don't compare, don't compete, and don't complain.'

I have tried to remind myself of this when I find myself thinking negative things about others or about myself. It has helped.

The WoodLand School said...

Thank you for this post. I gasped aloud as I read it this morning ... because these very thoughts were on my heart last night as I went to sleep.

emily said...

amen ... thank you

amelia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
amelia said...

sorry, don't know what i did to my last comment :)
this is what i way going to say:

i've felt a bit "out of the loop" these last few years as my little children are getting older- i've become wrapped up in my own little family and don't socialize as often as i used to...
i laugh, because when my neighbors or friends start talking about this, that or the other, i usually don't have a clue about any of it. and i like it that way :)
i love astyn's "Don't compare, don't compete, and don't complain." i want to use that! thanks!
thanks for visiting brightsides, i'm glad you liked it :)
lets chat soon!

Jesslyn said...

Lovely post! It is so much harder at that moment, to choose not to be offended, but it results in SO much less stress and more happiness in the moments that follow.

Sally said...

Great thoughts today Anne. Bless your heart ;)

Heather said...

So well put and such a great topic to talk about. I absolutely love those quotes. Why can't we all just stop being so juvenile? It really is so stupid! Let's band together and support one another, life is challenging enough. :)

Michelle said...

Such a great post, but here is a bigger question. What can we do to have a change of heart. I struggle with ill feeling towards a particular woman, and I know it is wrong of me. I try to get to the bottom of my feelings, but then something else happens to stir up unpleasant emotions that I want to gossip etc. How can we change our hearts truly so we can move past and move on?

Brandon & Jamie said...

There is a book that you might enjoy reading (Everyone who has posted here should read it I think). It is not by an LDS author but the authors (husband and wife) are Christian and I think the point of view or concept of the book is very good and helps us understand why we are the way we are as women.

The book is called Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge. It's only about 200 pages. If you like it there is a book also called Wild At Heart which is the book written about/to men. Hope you all will read and enjoy. They are very open in what they talk about, so be warned.


Nicole said...

Wow, this is exactly what I needed to hear. I got into a disagreement with my husband this morning and didn't not hold my tongue and said some hurtful things. As soon as I read the quote by Joseph Smith, I called my husband at work and apologized. Holding my tongue is certainly something I could do better. Thanks for this post!