Week 13 | Mind Your Words


… Watch what you say. Be aware of your words and their impact. Listen more, speak less. Don’t say hurtful things. Speak Love. Embody peace. Try for just one day not to complain about anything — even the biggest injustice in the world. Negativity breeds negativity.

--Shawn @ AA/P52

Words are incredible.  The power they hold.  The feelings they generate.  The story they tell.

I have felt joy in receiving their words.  The genuinely with which they are said.  I have felt the power of their anger, expressed as much by their lack of words as the words they can muster out.  

I have seen how their words to each other affect one another.  I see them connecting words to emotions.  I see them learning how to communicate their emotions to each other, using their words.

I have seen the affect of my words on them.  Some amazingly wonderful.  And others a reminder of that fear, that deep fear, that us as parents will say that thing that will scar or ruin a portion of our child's spirit.  I don't say mean things to my girls, but does it matter when my tone, my body language, my delivery all scream negativity?


I could have done this better today.  When, after asking them to come downstairs three times, they were still giggling and getting their clothes on for the day.  When, after asking them twice to eat their breakfast bars, they were still at each other's noses leaning across space between barstools … space where crumbs were falling.  When, after headed to the car she went back in to grab a sweatshirt.  When, down the hill, she said she forgot her pen for her friends to sign her cast.  When, on the freeway, she said she needed to go potty.  

I could have chosen to not complain.  In my head, aloud.  I try so hard not to have rushed mornings -- for this very reason.  I do not handle it well.  I don't like to feel stressed, short, annoyed.  Even still, I could have chosen to let it go, I could have chosen not to complain.   I could have chosen to see their sisterly interaction as endearing, as refreshing, as the genuine interaction that it was.  Instead, I told them that I needed their help listening, that I had to tell them too many times to eat their breakfast, get their clothes on.   When one told me I could take a deep breath and calm down, I could have chosen to agree, and be positive.  But in defiance, I chose to tell them how we were late, because they blah blah blah, and they blah blah.  

But it did not make me feel better.  I still felt stressed.  Negativity begetting negativity.  It was I who did not handle the morning well.  And, when that is my time with my girls, before I go to work on my long Tuesdays, I start the day empty.  Empty for how I contributed to their empty morning.  

For my words that might be playing over in their heads.  For my tone that said more than the words.  For the look on my face that said enough.  

During lunch I thought back to my morning.  I should have woken Hadz up earlier.  That would have solved so much.  I fought the urge, when headed downstairs with Maycee, because she was so cozy, so peaceful, so freely unaware of anything other than the state of sleep she was in.  I, part in envy, chose to let her be, left to wake on her own terms.  

So, with a mission now, I will chalk this morning up to one of those mornings.  I will be even more preemptive in starting the day as peacefully and smoothly as is in my power to do.  So that my words and my body language and my tone can all foster the kind of peaceful and loving interaction that is my goal, my job, my desire to create for my family. 

 © Houseman 2013