According to my Grandmother, in order for a relationship survive there must be a lot of give and take. I admit, I do more than my fair share of giving…advice that is.
Sometimes my advice is golden:
“Learn to adapt”
“Invest in quality pieces, they never go out of style.”
“Just go ahead and do your own thing. It won’t matter after you’re dead. Just don’t hurt anyone else while you are doing it.”
“Don’t compare or else the grass will always look greener from where you stand.”
But more often than not I find my advice sounds somewhat like this:
“If you do X then X will happen,” (da-da…insert evil music)
“Don’t have sex with her unless you can see yourself waking up to her for the rest of your life”…which is valid but not always helpful at the time.
“If you would only take out the trash we wouldn’t have ants”
“You should have listened to me and this never would have happened.”
Recently, I had noticed that my commentary was full of If’s and Don’ts and Should’s. In other words, I often used these if’s and should’s unintentionally as word grenades; words which when said warn the unfortunate listener that something more is coming and it usually isn’t good. They are just “pull the pin and toss” words that can have near lethal effects on a person’s soul. Words which imply that the person is lacking in some way or has failed in some sort of duty owed. While I have used these grenades on others recently I have realized I have used them consistently on myself during negative self-commentaries that came to prance through my mind from time to time. Usually the word should figures predominantly in those head games I play with myself.
“You should have…”
Frankly, I think the word should be banned because it is a word that sets a person up for a lifetime of regret and self-flagellation.
“You should have…”
Lately, I have been working on decreasing the amount of should’s, if’s and don’ts in my vocabulary. Instead, I have tried to replace them with “feel good words” like… please, could you, and it may be better if…
And it is working. As I use gentler words my family does too infusing a sense of calm in the atmosphere of my mind and in our home. Best of all, I find I am turning into a kinder gentler woman … a Glenda the Good type of person who helps to remind me that “There’s No Place Like Home, There’s No Place Like Home, There’s No Place Like Home!” and I finally believes it.