Creating Space Between What I Think And What I Say

It’s time to start a new, intentional practice.

Emphasis on the word practice. My intention? Creating space between my thoughts and the words that actually come out of my mouth.

Shushing statue at Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde

Attribution: Elham24 at en.wikipedia via Wikimedia Commons

Are You Stuck In A Negative Loop?

Sometimes I find that I am talking without even hearing what I’m saying. It’s just become habit for me to ramble on about whatever I’m thinking, often before I even realize I thought it. Like one of those stock ticker tapes that crawl across the bottom of CNBC, I can go on and on and on (and without making much sense).

But often I regret what I say out loud. I find that I’m stuck in a loop of constant complaining or negativity or nit-picking or whatever it is that’s directed at others more so subconsciously than consciously.

Are You Best Friends With Misery?

It’s sometimes as if I’m in a continuous conversation with the Universe, whom I shall call Misery since we’re best friends and love each other’s company.

The problem isn’t that I say what I think or that I’m in touch with my feelings or even that I have a conversations with Misery. The problem is that I have children and a husband who are often at the receiving end of my emotional outbursts.

Even if I’m not talking directly to them, it’s often about them. Or it’s about some hypothetical “person” or “family” who I cannot believe would do whatever it is they’re doing that I’m complaining about at that moment (which is really my subconscious and pathetic attempt at trying not to target my loved ones by shooting my mouth missiles elsewhere toward a hypothetical).

Are You Intentional With Your Words?

So the answer, my friends, is not blowing wind. It’s creating literal space between what I think and what I actually say. It’s being intentional with my words and emotions.

It’s saying only what needs to be said, from the only place words should ever come (a place of love), and leaving all that other garbage shut tight in my head-can without losing my lid.

Are You Asking And Answering The Right Questions?

And even more, it’s taking time to analyze why I’m thinking (and saying) all of these negative things anyway.

  • Am I not feeling validated?
  • Am I pointing out all that is wrong with others as a reflection of all that is wrong with me?
  • Am I really just miserable and want to make everyone else miserable?

When it comes to my spoken word, these shall be my intentions:

1. Examine the why before speaking. (Why am I thinking these thoughts and feeling these feelings?)

2. Pay attention to who is on the receiving end. (Am I talking to my loved one or to my best friend Misery?)

3. Consider how these spoken words will affect those who hear them. (Am I coming from a place of love?)

4. Be intentional with what is spoken aloud. (Am I rambling or am I having an authentic conversation?)

5. Know when and where to speak. (Am I trying to be heard or am I trying to be helpful?)

Are You Creating Space?

And to put all into practice, I just need to:

breathe,

pause,

silently ask myself the questions,

silently consider my intentions,

breathe again,

smile,

and speak,

or don’t speak.

Take the time to create space.

Take the time to practice.

And for God’s sake, take the time to say goodbye to Misery and find a new best friend.

 

 Is it time for you to start a new, intentional practice? Or maybe, like me, you need to work on creating space between what you think and what you say?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Comments

    • says

      Thanks, Jennifer!

      Great point–I hadn’t even thought about that! You’re right, not everyone takes time to pause and reflect before they hit “send!”

      I find that I’m personally way more thoughtful and meticulous on social media than I am in real life. I think because of the ability to proofread and edit and the fact that I have to go through a series of steps (like using my mouse to push buttons in order to “publish” what I’m thinking), I automatically work through the 5 intentions I wrote about above.

      And plus, there’s always the “delete” button! Oh how I wish there was a “delete button” for my mouth sometimes! ;-)

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