I don’t know when it happened, but I became the girls I hated most in school. I became the mean girl. I became the person who couldn’t wait to pass judgement on someone else to a third party. I could spend endless words speculating on why and how, but the whys and hows don’t matter. What matters is what I have become.
The realization hit me today while a viscous, black dread metasticized in me as I feared to my core that someone I maligned overheard my impulsive, careless words. I am no better than those girls who tormented me all those years ago…
It’s mean. It’s demoralizing. And at some point, I became part of the problem.
I know I’d feel terrible if some of the things that I’ve said about others were things I’d heard said about me. I could write it off as a symptom of my defect: that I feel badly enough about myself that it feels better to know that, “Hey, I’m not as bad as So-and-So.” But it’s no excuse. The only fruit of Gossip’s loins is bitterness.
I’m deeply ashamed by my behavior. But I want to get better; I want to lift off the heavy yoke of my malice.
So I whisper only loud enough for the Divine Spark to hear, please help me. Help me be a less angry, more patient, more kind, person. Help me use my words for grace instead of venom.
By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach. Winston Churchill