As the Lenten season ends, I just want chat about this year’s “giving up”. So this year I gave up GOSSIP. Yep I said it, gossip. When this first started in March, I thought this would not be hard to do since I don’t consider myself a big gossip. However I gave myself some parameters.
- If the person didn’t tell me directly….Then that was gossip! This included organizational gossip, celebrity gossip and church gossip.
- Anything I said about myself to someone else was not gossip!
- Children and animals did not count! (Because sometimes my friends might just have to say something about either of the two.)
Let me say…It was a very quiet 40 days!
I would start conversations with my friend who knew I had given up gossip for lent and she would start with justifying the conversation. I would weigh my options and then decide if I broke any of the rules. After a while, I just stop listening and she stopped presenting the justification. Cricket…Cricket.
But here are some things I learned during my 40 day gossip diet:
- I learned to be a listener. When my mouth was closed and I was listening I couldn’t gossip. When I allowed a constant stream of gossip to enter my mind it will found a way to my mouth. But I tried to listen more. It helped to keep shut my mouth.
- I slowed down. The old folks used to say “count to 10 before you say anything.”That’s a cute old saying but it really does work. By deliberately slowing the pace of my responses, I gave myself time to think about what I was going to say.
- I got an accountability partner. Sometimes I needed a little extra strength. My close girlfriend became my partner in breaking the gossip habit. I needed someone who I talked to, was reliable, and was brave enough to scold me and did not drift into gossip with me.
So would I do this again? Lesson learned….No I think I might stick to the routine of giving up chocolate or beets. But it was very interesting. However for the last 40 days this diet gave me something unexpected…A clear mind.
Jane Mansfield once said, “Be careful who you trust. If someone will discuss others with you they will certainly discuss you with others.”