T.H.I.N.K. Before You Speak
Posted on March 12, 2012
“Words are a form of action, capable of influencing change” ~Ingrid Bengis
“The fish trap exists because of the fish. Once you’ve got the fish, you can forget the trap. The rabbit snare exists because of the rabbit. Once you’ve got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words exist because of meaning. Once you’ve got the meaning, you can forget the words. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can have a word with him.” ~Chuang Tse
Today is a mixed kinda day. Mixed in that while it was full of wonderful moments (tea party with Mars complete with crowns and an English accent on the top of the list) it’s also the day with the moment I looked at my little girl’s school picture and realized she’s no longer considered a toddler. That thought is cocktail or glass-of-wine inducing, for which I did enjoy a glass of Red Velvet wine and a slice of dark chocolate and coconut…then ran on the elliptical (my oh my how two weeks off for the plague changes ones pace, that hill owned me!)
Anyway, after comparing the school photo from last year (and sending texts to my family along with posting on Facebook…) I couldn’t believe just how much growth can happen in one year. Not only physically, as she’s quite tall, but mentally and emotionally as well. She now knows that her eyes being wet means tears and come with sadness, that if she says she has a sore throat she’ll get a popsicle for the painful pangs while swallowing or that when I’m advancing to take off a band aid (or breath right strip) she’ll admonish “you just keep your hands to yourself!” For which I oblige until she’s ready for the removal.
Words, it’s amazing the ability for communication we have with words. Before Mars could speak she learned a few signs to help communicate (because crying for everything was not working for us), milk, more, food, thank you.. then came the first syllables da da da , then ma ma ma. Now it’s “whatever you say maman” or “I need space” (when she wants the couch to herself) or “I love you so much maman” and the morning catch phrase “Is there school and work today?”
Language, speaking, expression, learning how to use your words, something I often tell Mars “rather than the grunt of frustration or crying when your sweater is all twisted capturing your arms behind her back, ask for help.” Words can be quite powerful, when wielded in the correct manner. If words are truly actions (something I believe) then imagine the energy attached with what one says, expresses and how that can go out into the universe, to reap what one sows, words can be thoughtful seeds of hope or weeds choking out any growth, yours or the one your speaking with…
While headed downstairs in my office building on my way to the vending machine for a snack (shhh! Yes people actually use those for chips) I noticed a huge white board posted before going into the ARC (warehouse place) and noticed this:
THINK before you speak.
I was like…. huh? Then I saw what the acronym defined:
Is what you’re going to say Truthful? Helpful? Insightful? Necessary? Kind?
Jokingly I thought…would I ever speak?!?!
In all seriousness, I feel this is a good reminder sometimes that while we feel compelled to say something, as that’s how we work, we respond, share, give our opinion or judgment regardless of what is truly needed. Sometimes silence is golden and allows space for whatever truly is needed or necessary to flow in rather than a reaction or quick retort; to come from ones higher self rather than quick egoic retort.
I also feel this is a good mantra when communicating with my daughter. Often I say too much or give too much direction thereby reining her in from her natural expression, which as long as safe and respectful, doesn’t really need my intervening. Unless, of course, she’s asked for help or guidance, I could sit back and let her find her flow. I have a stained glass window of a dove in front of a gothic cross…to this day Mars calls it a birdhouse, words are labels and she’s using what she has and soon enough she’ll have more than she knows what to do with.
While I can be accused of getting lost in my head or “thinking too much” I feel I’ll benefit to T.H.I.N.K. before I speak. It’s also something for me to keep in mind while writing this blog, since writing is my form of expression and communicating, I can get verbose. We’re all so busy lately that for those who stop by and read I’m truly thankful and hope that the next time you stop by, what I’ve shared at leasts fits a few of the T.H.I.N.K. criterion.
At the dinner table tonight Mars said “lets pretend I’m sixteen and you’re 4 maman” (yeah, she aims for 16 as she knows she can drive then, before then asking the age for drinking wine…and I respond 21 ;) “I’m like how about we pretend you’re 4 and I’m 29 (rather than 33 although, 34 will be here too soon!) Growing up too quickly and using her words, she’s not even four yet and I can only imagine what will come out of her mouth, and mine in response, as we navigate this endless wake of today together.
Mars et maman, M2, as I like to call us. From our house to yours, here’s to silence and well chosen words. Be safe, be well….