Sunday, April 12, 2009

Think and Speak

"I'll be damned."
"Son of a b*tch."
"Oh, sh*t."
"G-d d**ned."
"G-d d**n you."

Really?

We can all be so undisciplined and unintelligent when we speak. Ignorant and foul without realizing it.

Do we really mean to "be damned?" Or did we really laughingly call our friend's mother a b*tch? And talking about fecal matter so casually, like it's not a crude and ignorant thing to talk about. And asking (or taunting) God to damn us or damn someone else like it's nothing...

The way I speak is not something I normally pay attention to until I am censoring myself. You know, you can really let it all out with your "regular" friends, but you don't want to say certain things when you are in earshot of certain people. Why is that? After all, we mostly censor ourselves because of courtesy or respect. So, when we don't censor ourselves, are we being comrades with certain people - or are we basically saying we don't need to respect them as much as we respect someone else? Are we saying (by our actions) that they don't expect as much of us as someone else might?

Or, maybe, it's just that we need a little zone in our lives where it's all right to be ignorant sometimes. I wonder. My mother used to tell me I should behave as if the world is watching. In this day and age, that just might be true!

This whole train of thought came to me when I was sort of meditating the other day. I was thinking about how I can really act just quite the fool around certain people, but I would NEVER act that way around other people. Then I started thinking that my behavior says so much about me. When am I being "real?" Real for myself and/or real for others? Being what others might expect me to be

Now, I know that we let our hair down around certain people - our spouses, family, friends - out of a sense of trust and intimacy, but ...I don't know. I think that sometimes, by our behavior we are taking some relationships for granted. And I was thinking that maybe (speaking only for myself, here) I should look at exercising more conscious control over my mind and mouth. Maybe if I make myself more conscious of my speech and actions at ALL times, what I say and do will be more meaningful.

Make sense? Okay, how about comparing all of this something we can all probably relate to better: courtship and marriage.

We all know about the stereotype of a man or woman letting themselves go once they get comfortable in a relationship, right? Being female, I'll pick on us women. At the start of a courtship, we keep ourselves looking good, smelling good, acting just so. We don't want our new love interest to even imagine that we "poot," wake up with less-than-minty breath, or ever look less than the best he first saw us. That's not realistic, but sometimes we go too far the other way...

After a while, we stop covering up those little burps, or we don't get quite as bothered when he sees our knees or elbows a little bit ashy. Then we get to where it's all right if he goes in the bathroom right after we done blew it up. Pretty soon, we're walking around with the attitude that "he's got to know I don't feel like dressing up for him ALL the time!" (But we want him to still love us the way he did at first, don't we?)

And before anybody goes off here: I'm not saying that we should live our lives in a false way (especially in a marriage or long-term relationship). What I am saying is, aren't we supposed to be the best we can be for ourselves AND for that man we love? And what's wrong with keeping some things a mystery? What's wrong with not dragging our behinds around the house looking like we just don't care? I mean, my man has seen me sick, and he's seen me in some raggedy shorts and a holey t-shirt while I clean the tub or scrub the toilet, but I can say one thing: he has never seen me looking rough just because I don't care.

Of course, I haven't been married for a full year yet... LOL But this isn't just about marriage. I'm talking about the way we are with everyone we deal with in life. We should care more. We should be more consistent and aware.

What I'm saying is:

1) What we do to present ourselves to others has to do with how we feel about those others AND about ourselves, and
2) We should at least want to be more conscious of how we are presenting ourselves.

Just as a personal experiment, I'm going to be watching my behavior around everyone. I want to be more conscious of what I say and how I say it - no matter who I'm talking to. I also want to learn to take a breath or two before I react to anything anymore. I want to really be aware of how I behave. There's got to be some benefits to that. I'll be sure to let you know.

Peace
--Free

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