I hate New Years resolutions, so I normally don’t do them. They always feel the same. Grand plans and all of a sudden it is February and I am like, “Oh crap”. I blow my resolutions pretty quick.
I just traveled for Christmas to see family. I love seeing my family and miss them dearly, yet they do an impeccable job of revealing to me how selfish and stubborn I am. I can often be this happy-go-lucky gal to all my friends out here in Denver, and then at home one person can give me one bit of advice and I go into defensive brat mode like I am 13 again. WHY????
I also grew up in a large Hispanic family where talking about each other, is for the most part, completely normal. Growing up it was never bad to talk about someone in your family. It was a way of life. It wasn’t gossip to my family to share secret stories about a new person’s boyfriend or what happened last Saturday. For the women, this was Saturday morning coffee conversation. It kept them bonded and knitted together, in the know, and connected.
I have different views on what gossip is and isn’t based on my upbringing, and know this is a sensitive topic because we all have different views on gossip. Indulge me while I share what I have been chewing on. I feel crummy even writing a post about this struggle, but know many people that I admire who have been honest with me in sharing they struggle with this too. It is this topic that is rarely discussed, maybe because it is so difficult for women.
My mind has been racing the past few months on all the things that have slipped out of my mouth without hesitation that, looking back, can be considered gossip. And then come my excuses- “…but I love them so I am sorting out with my closest companion things that are important”, “I am asking for prayer requests” (that is the worst one, in my opinion, and happens all the time!), “I just need to talk to someone about it because I am hurt”… the list goes on.
So, I made the executive decision to take on gossip head on. I have decided that talking about ANYONE in a way that does not build up their character or praise them BEHIND their back is GOSSIP. Meaning, if I have an issue with them I can talk directly with them, or find someone anonymous that does not know them that I trust to talk with to figure out how to talk directly with them. If it does not fit this category, in my opinion, it is gossip.
I find myself too often talking carelessly about the people I love and their life. I do it truly out of love, worry, and stress most often- talking about how much I wish they could stop doing this or that harm to themselves. Talking in this way helps no one and only hurts their credibility and ability to actually make a change for themselves. It binds them into their old ways and habits. I truly do nothing to help them find hope, believe in themselves, or have the courage to act in a new way by being a coward and talking about how I wish this or that.
So, my Resolution this year is to change how I talk about people. All people. I want to find ways to see the good things in people and praise them, drawing out the lovely qualities God is working on in their lives or that God has naturally given them. I want them to feel hopeful when they hear I have talked about them. I want other people to have good impressions of the people I talk about, leaving them the opportunity to judge the person for themselves. I want to leave the past in the past, letting myself and others have the ability to make new choices this year and not be held down by old mistakes. Above all, when I feel hurt or angry with someone I want to confront them in a loving way face to face. I admire people who have the guts to tell people what they really feel because they love them enough to do it. Especially the hard stuff.
This is a hard Resolution for me, one that I have already asked my husband to help me with. There is such comfort sometimes in talking to him about hardships in my family or with friends, and making this Resolution nips all that in the butt. I do hope, however, that I will find new comfort in talking about things that are actually productive, and hopefully in relationships that are blossoming in love and friendship.
Thank you for letting me share this rather difficult and honest new challenge for myself. I know that I will need the help of God to do this, as this is quite unnatural for myself and I think humans in general. I do believe that what we do when no one is looking matters as much as if they were looking, and want to work on this area in my life because it is so important.
If you have anything to share on this topic please do! If you have any interesting New Years Resolutions you are attempting please let us know.
Hope you had a beautiful Christmas and holiday season and a Happy New Year!