Why is it….?

November 26, 2011

There is an obnoxiously cute saying out there “God put your arms around my shoulders and your hand across my mouth.”

Why is it that some people have no problem speaking their minds, no qualms about hurting those around them, no moral compass to say you’re off track? And others, myself included, will suffer in silence? I hesitate to speak negatively about those in my life even on this anonymous blog.

This was my original Thanksgiving post for today, Nov. 26th:

Nov. 26 I am thankful these 365 days are over. I know that there are things in life that shape us into the people we are–and it is our choice whether we let those things have a positive or a negative effect on our character. There are things set in to motion a year ago that I honestly could have done without. But I know that there is a purpose for everything under the sun and I have faith. It is the forgiveness part that I sometimes stumble with. Here is to the next 365 days being so much better.

I left out the italics part when I posted it.

Why? What’s wrong with this post? This is benign compared to the vague post I’d really like to put up. Say I made a statement “The only good Rose is a dried one” but I’m having a conflict with the Rose in my life and they read into this statement exactly what I was vaguely implying … but I could (not with good conscience) say “I was making a statement about the long-lasting qualities of dried flowers and nothing about you.” There would be no way to refute what I say was the intent of my post. But it would spread far and wide what I posted and what is believed to be my intent. For the mere moment of satisfaction it caused my Rose some pain, it would not be worth dealing with everyone else. And I’d feel some guilt knowing that my intent was not so innocent.

I do want to state that I believe the actions of others 365 days ago caused me pain (though it was from misinterpreting an off-color, humorous, vague posting that meant exactly as I intended to write it). I want to state that I have struggled with forgiveness (or else I wouldn’t want to make snarky Rose statements). I want to thank those that stood by me and by lack of inclusion on that list point out those that did not. But I don’t want to hear “You are being petty.” “You’re right, you haven’t forgiven.” “You need to let it go.” “You’re the one dragging this out.” “It was done and over with and you’re the one bringing it up again.” Well, it isn’t done and over with–I live with the consequences every day.

So I censor myself, make my posts vague even to me. Without guilt I can say I truly am glad this year is over, it has shaped me, for the better I hope; and I hope the next year is better.

But sometimes, just once, I’d like to be the person who does not care who their words hurt. I’d like to know what that kind of freedom feels like. Even as I write this, I know that there is ultimately no freedom in being that kind of person. The freedom after this life is the prize to be attained; those that live otherwise have their reward here and now. So what is it that they lack when I seem to be so full of stop-gap measures? Does the law of unintended consequences not even register in their minds?

I am grateful God’s hand is over my mouth though there are times when I wish it was clamped tightly because occasionally my poor choice of words and lack of discretion must slip out through loose fingers. I’m not perfect. I have had to suffer the consequences of rashly spoken or posted words. I have had to seek forgiveness of those I have offended. There is no mirror like that of a child parroting back unkind and rash words spoken about others.

I cannot be the only one who feels this way. I believe there are far more of us who do censor ourselves. It just feels like the ones who don’t cause so much pain and damage to so many more.

You can never re-call spoken words or unsend once you hit the send button. I wish everyone thought of this before acting. Me included.


  1. I don’t like to hurt people with my words but there are certainly times when I’ve had to say EXACTLY what I think. I’ve had to put myself first to get away from toxic people in my life–family included. When my mother was recently complaining about my sister’s relationship with her husband I had to cut her off–say “Mom, I’ve told her and I’m telling you (and you should tell her) that you don’t want to hear these things because she is making the choice every.single.day. to stay in that relationship.” I’ve had to do that. I know it upsets my sister and mother when I’ve done it but I have to for my own sanity. Sometimes you have let people know your boundaries. You’re a better person for what’s happened to you, though I wish you hadn’t been hurt at all. Here’s to a MUCH better 365 sweetheart!

  2. After some of my early posts unintentionally offended someone in my extended family, I tend to be more cautious with the words that I put out there.

    Sometimes, however, I really need to vent, so I do, then I delete the post without publishing it. I feel somewhat better and no one gets hurt.

    • Is it because we actually care when we offend someone, that you, SoccerMom, and me will automatically censor ourselves? Why does the high road feel so darn lonely and unsatisfying at times? This may actually turn into another good post about DH and me… “My bark is worse than my bite.” I was contemplating having a “burning” this weekend–writing down all that I want to say–and throwing it into a bonfire along with all the e-mails and other things associated with the bad things from this past year. Maybe it will be a fun New Year’s thing we can do as a family when DH gets home. Thanks for your support!

  3. It would be a very difficult world to live in if we all said what we really feel. I had an incident a few weeks back where my neighbor (who had too much to drink) began speaking in a very negative and unflattering way about many many things. And it occurred to me that her internal filter was off due to the alcohol and I felt like I was seeing her clearly for the first time. It completely changed my feelings about her, and I can’t quite look at her the same way ever again. Words are something that are very hard to take back once they are spoken so I think it is best to keep it away from others — unless there is someone you can vent to freely so you can get rid of those feelings … or write them down. I’ve found that is very helpful too.

    • Okay, that brings up an interesting point–are we who we are without the filter or are we the person who chooses to live with the filter? When someone says “I was just joking with you” isn’t there always a grain of truth/opinion in that joke, or else we wouldn’t say it in the first place? Are we what we say or what we do not say? If it is the later, then it would be almost impossible to know anyone and I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to know what I wouldn’t say. I even hesitated to make this original post because I’d hate for anyone to think negatively of me, that I could possibly want to say something out of spite… have I tarnished myself in the eyes of my 10 loyal readers who really don’t know me from the person next door? Or did I show I was human? It’s nice to know I’m not the only who struggles … I just wanted to vent about the fact most of the time I have to filter even my venting. I hope this makes sense.

  4. […] the midst of it all I did tell people No. And then some–my filter was totally off. (See both Why Is It? and Why Is It Part 2.) I took care of me and mine and kept my obligations to a […]

  5. […] and live no life at all. I do try to be conscientious and weigh my options carefully. I live with a filter (most of the time). If I do make a mistake I want to be given the chance to make amends–I […]

  6. […] in emergencies. They are the ones who have looked the other way when I decided to live a little filter-free there for a while, because they knew what was going on and not that I was wanting Cheerleader Barbie […]

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