Like with many of my soul food posts, the topics tend to center around themes that are coming up in my life and are on my mind lately. I’ve been thinking a lot about gossip lately— watching others do it, thinking of when I do it myself. Then I came across some really powerful information that pushed me to cut myself off from that altogether.
For most people, talking badly about others gives you that awful feeling in your stomach— an indication that it’s not something great for your mind or body. Yet so many people seem to just gossip continually- at work, in school, in your family.
I had a horrible high school experience due to gossip. At a certain point, I was hearing some negative comment that had been said about me on a daily basis. And then, getting sucked into the negative spiral, I joined in the gossiping too. It was stressful and uncomfortable and yet invited more of the same. Like I’ve referred to in other soul food posts, it’s easy to go down that black hole of negativity/insecurity/sadness, but once you are conscious of it, you can turn it around.
I’ve certainly gossiped in my lifetime, but I decided to cut it off completely not too long ago. I don’t want to partake in putting out anything negative into the universe, and if I am gossiping, it’s just a reflection of myself so I’d rather look inward and figure it out, than project some issue of mine outward.
The word is a force
I recently came across this life changing book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I will do a full post in the near future about this book, since it is just so beautiful, I want to do it justice. But one of the agreements that Ruiz suggests we should live by is “be impeccable with your word.” He says it is the most important and the most difficult of all the agreements. Ruiz points out that your word “is the power that you have to create…The word is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think, and thereby to create the events in your life. You can speak. What other animal on the planet can speak?”
That last point is so obvious but resonated so much with me that I’m still chewing on it weeks later. We are the only creatures on this earth that can speak, and yet we throw words around without thinking, we say things with negative intent, and we don’t bother trying to harness all the beautiful power there is in our word. I read that alone and thought “never again.”
What others think of you is none of your business
Now, if you do decide to end your own gossiping, there is still the “problem” of others gossiping about you. When you think of all the reasons why someone might gossip about you- they are depressed, insecure, bored, jealous, angry- all of these things have absolutely nothing to do with you. So why even let those comments touch you? Easier said than done, but shifting your mind to think in this way will help you to let that kind of negativity float right by you.
My mom always said to me “What others think of you is none of your business” and that is something I remind myself of as well when I hear negative criticism. Everything that you do is a reflection of you, just like everything I do is a reflection of me.
Does anyone else have thoughts about this? I feel like this topic might be coming up for others too, as it’s definitely a biggie. Let me know!