Twice this last week I hanged with friends when they asked me: “so, what is news?” And then they would receive a blank stare back… Nope, no news from me… Got nothing to tell, except the usually TB news, but I keep my world updated on that.
My life became way less complicated since I became sick. This morning, however, I came back to the reality of this world. I FINALLY decided to go to the hairdresser and get my hair done. Once I was in the seat, it all started. One of the ladies in the shop started to talk about her news. That is when I realized why I simplified my life.
Recently I was interviewed by Bellamag about my journey with TB. It will be in the December issue, so remember to support this new mag and buy a copy in December! One of the questions that she asked me was how did my life change since I discovered I have TB. The obvious answers were health wise I made a 180 degree change and my perspective on life changed. How? She asked.. I had to think and finally now, I have the answer. Trust Linda to wake up after the coffee is already cold.
I remember when I was in ministry, I longed for a simpler life. I say this with respect, but that church grapevine is a schlep. The gossip stories that flies over your head about this person and that person. I too, found myself in the middle of thousands of secrets and do not tell so and so but … Until I became the gossipee… Aka the one that was gossiped about. It wrecked me. I heard horrifying stories of me from sources that I trusted and believed was good friends. At first I was very badly hurt and left the ministry.. That was like oil on the fire! Now all the assumptions that was made about me was confirmed! I am not coping! Months later we still received emails from people asking straight whether this or that horrifying story about me was true. The saddest part of it all, I was also guilty. I also gossiped.
TB taught me the value of life. We all hear it and we preach it, but I guess it finally hits home about how incredibly valueable people are when you are facing a illness that is just not worth any person going through. Yes, people do stupid things. We all do. Many times we judge people on their actions, not knowing the bigger picture. But there is something about gossip, about intending malicious harm on someone who is not there to defend themselves, that is just plain ugly.
This morning, I recognized it. You again! I felt sorry for the lady who was telling the horrible, juicy, gossip story about her sister for all to hear in that salon. I live in a small town and most probably know her sister. But my heart broke, because in front of me ,I saw someone trying to figure out a way to reconcile with her sister, yet not believing that she is powerful enough to take her sister on about the issues that is causing her so much pain. Instead she is just spreading the ugly gossip. To have a straight talk with someone who is hurting you is called powerful communication. There are tools to use during these kinds of talks, so don’t just puff yourself up and go and “give it” to someone, causing more damage than good. In powerful communication, the goal is to reconnect again, not just to air your mind.
My husband is a genius with this. He has a lot of patience and when he does speak, you walk away empowered. I love that about him and yes, I was under his disciplinary tongue a couple of times!
In truth, gossiping just steals from you. It is ok not to get along with someone or to differ from someone. We all won’t get along, but to spread that non liking with a malicious heart to your neighbor, reflects bad on you… And frankly, like I discovered this morning, it makes you feel iggy.. ( stinky).
I also know that people talk! We, especially us women, talk about people and their lives. But you would know when you have crossed the line. And yes, sometimes people hurt you and you need to process with someone who isn’t close to the situation. Again this does not give way to gossip, but rather a space to truthfully express your feelings and work through them.I realized again today, that the best we can do, is to confront the person who has hurt us..
oh, And don’t tell a story if it is not yours to tell.
Due to many other factors, not just dealing with a sickness, I found myself out of the loop. I didn’t realize what a burden all these stories were until I had far less stories to listen too. I don’t know if you have ever noticed, but it is rarely that a person gossips without offense being part of it. That offense is truly a burden to the heart! Just last night, my hub hub and I took a drive to drink our homemade milkshakes at the ocean. As we were sitting there, I experienced a sense of relief. As I usually do, I investigated these feelings, and I realized I am not offended.. not even secondary offended due to other people’s offense that was spreaded to me by gossip. What a feeling!! Absolute freedom and rest… so yes, my conclusion through it all is that it is by far less troublesome and less consuming to live the life that God has called us to live. A Life that includes to love unconditionally, to forgive quickly, to bless each other rather than to curse, to pray for the sick and to live a gossip free life. Your brain actually takes a deep breathe of relief.
And then, when all these shackles that keeps our brain occupied is gone with, you discover one of the greatest gifts that God has given us on this earth: Time. Time to enjoy the sun, enjoy your work,to enjoy your friends and a time to breath.