Anyone that knows me very well (or at all, really) knows that I am rarely at a loss for words. I have no problem speaking my mind and if someone else does, I’ll take that as an invitation to speak mine twice!
So, one might be shocked to know that there was actually a time in my life when sharing my thoughts, feelings and opinions was not very easy for me.
I think it’s because for most of my young life I was frequently reprimanded for running my mouth. I was a pretty good kid but the one thing that would get me in trouble every time was my mouth!
Instead of learning to think before speaking, I would try to hold in all of my thoughts, feelings and opinions out of fear of being rude and, in turn, getting in trouble.
I had to learn the hard way that keeping my feelings bottled up was not a good idea, my attempts at not being “rude” would result in something much worse.
One time when I was probably a pre-teen/early teen, my cousin (who happens to be the sweetest person on God’s green earth) fell victim to my attempt at keeping my thoughts to myself. She is naturally an extremely nurturing person. Sometimes it bothered me because I felt like she was “mothering” me and since we were less than a year apart in age this was obviously not ok! Even though, she was just being caring I took it as her thinking she was in charge and I was a “baby”. Instead of politely sharing my feelings with her, I held it in. Until one fateful day when I totally lost it.
I don’t even remember exactly what happened, all I remember is screaming (and that is no exaggeration), “YOU’RE NOT MY MOTHER!!!!!”. I believe that statement was followed by a series of other feelings being spewed out at my sweet cousin.
Unfortunately, this is what happens when we don’t speak our minds in a timely manner.
I wish I could say I quickly learned from that experience but I didn’t. It has been a process… a long process.
Learning to speak up without being rude is a challenge for some of us (I am still working on mastering this art) but that doesn’t mean that we need to hold every thing in. It also doesn’t mean we need to share every thought we have (again, still working on this) but that’s a lesson for another day.
For now just … say what you need to say.