“…What we talkin’ bout Cuz I ain’t got time,
For what people be talkin’ bout all the time,
What we talkin’ bout fiction Or we talkin bout fact…
They Talk, We Did, Who cares what They say, They say, They say” -Jay-Z “What We Talkin Bout”
I’ve always been a talker, a woman of many words. In kindergarten my desk was right beside my teacher, Ms. McGee, facing the rest of the class. That was a “special” place for the “special” kids to sit. My 5-year-old self probably wasn’t even fazed. It probably made me feel important, even though it was a tactic of discipline, but in my mind it was an opportunity for me to be in the spotlight!! LOL. Throughout my life, my mouth has gotten me into and out of more situations, binds, and predicaments than you can imagine. I knew from an early age that putting words together was truly an art form, and that my gift of gab was something that I should embrace rather than shun. I always wanted to use my words as a source of positivity and enlightenment, but of course, being the human that I am, I’ve also used my words to tear down, gossip about and degrade others, and myself. I’ve always been extremely vocal, wearing it as a badge of honor in a sense when I was younger. I prided myself on being the chick that would “speak her mind”, and say what I wanted, when I wanted, how I wanted, and if anyone had an issue with that then they need to check themselves!! *insert angry black girl face & eye roll* All I can do now is shake my head at the Shelley from whence I’ve come, but thank God for growth. I’ve allowed Him (many times reluctantly) over the years to smooth me out in this area of my personality.
I didn’t really begin to understand the depth of this area until I began to know God more intimately. He created the entire world with words. God said, and then He saw. He even said it was good. He set the example for us on how to use our words, speaking those things that be not as though they were. (And ya’ll thought that came from The Secret LOL!) A few weeks ago I had the oddest dream. Not to go into too much detail, but it involved a warrior man, and young girl and me looking in on their interactions. The warrior man had just used his machete to slice out, get this, a TONGUE. Then he walked over to a huge tree and hung the tongue on a branch like an ornament, and showed it to the little girl. I woke up like WHOA, what did THAT mean?? I’ve drawn some conclusions of what it means for me, but I knew it served as a warning to be cautious about my words and how I communicate.
Many of us say how we feel, but many times how we feel isn’t reality. Not to get too philosophical on you, but I’ll give you an example. Say you go extra hard in the gym, and two days later, you feel like you’ve either pulled or strained something. You share it with those closest to you, and the more you talk about it, the pain gets worse! You finally go to the doctor, after convincing yourself that you have one of three ailments according to WebMD, only to find there is nothing wrong at all. What you perceived to be true, simply was not. You may be asking yourself why I’m talking about this on my blog where I usually discuss my journey in fighting cancer. Well, its simple. What you say affects what you see. Our words are like seeds, and trust and believe, they sprout, whether it’s a weed or beautiful flower. We have the ability and power to choose what we say. Throughout my adventure in cancerdom, I said all types of crazy things. “I’m fat”, “I’m ugly”, “My doctor is stupid”, “I feel horrible!” just to name a few. Those gripes got me nowhere, except treading in a sea of my own pity. I must admit I wallowed there at times, believing and saying things that simply were not true.
It is important to remember when you face ANY challenge, whether it’s a disease, heartache, breakup, or breakdown, you have to be a watchdog over your mouth. You can use your words to make your situation better or worse. I’m an advocate for expressing yourself, but once you cross that line into self-pity or tearing others down, you must kick those feelings to the curb, and just speak the truth. Don’t allow yourself to fall for the okie doke, and fall into a pattern of negative speech. If you need to vent, do it with one person you trust, not your entire crew, or even worse Facebook or Twitter. Get it out, but then make sure you say the things out your mouth that will give you hope and the faith to press on. “I can do this”, “I get better with everyday that passes”, “I am healed”, “I’m more than a conqueror”. If you need to, write positive words and statements on post-it notes, and stick them in places like the mirror, your desk, door, etc. to remind yourself to speak life and not death. And if that becomes hard, just remember what your mama used to tell you all the time, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. Silence can be golden 🙂
Proverbs 18:21-The Message (MSG)
Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.
Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.