The truth in words

“First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.” – Epictetus

This is a quote worth remembering.

It’s so easy to let our mouths go ahead of ourselves and we regret our words only once we’ve seen the other person’s tears or after they’ve finally had the courage to come back to you and speak honestly about how you’ve hurt them.

Sometimes I find myself drifting back to conversations or arguments which I’ve had, and I really do cringe. It’s sad for me to think that I only made this connection (I began to scrutinise the volatility of my relationship with my mother) when it was clear that my life might change forever. That’s when all these thoughts began to haunt me. This happened when my centre asked me if I forgave her while on a hospital bed (I replied yes because we had begun to work through our issues during that year). I think that she knew/felt how much time she had left during that year whereas I did not. I think about how much time we wasted and it’s only memories, which I am trying so hard to grasp onto, that I have left. It’s only after hitting what we call ‘rock bottom’ that we eventually come to our senses. Why do we wait so long to understand the depth of our words and even actions? Why is it that when things seemed rosier than what it is at the bottom, it’s only then that we begin to rise up and smile like the first time you saw a plane in the sky or when your parents bought you your first puppy at age 3? People will quote a number of cliches or idioms with the central message being that life is what you make it. As life may have it, there comes a time when things actually make sense. We can choose when we are willing to comprehend and make the necessary changes – it’s up to you to learn that now or you end up taking the class because it was the only option made available to you.

I feel that when we get to this place of inflicting pain on others due to how we chose to respond, it exposes what we really think or feel. Therefore, I believe that at times like this, we need to search those perceptions and the darkness in our hearts towards the individual and begin the process of uprooting and discarding the negativity. Wherever this may lead you, don’t be afraid for your feet to follow through. Life has many unplanned journeys that can be more rewarding then all the scheduled plans which we make.

Words linger through the drive back home from a night out or friend’s place, while making breakfast, even when we do ourselves up for the new day ahead and at whichever age. Let us remember that we all make mistakes, take ownership of the wrong doings, keep in mind that we are someone’s child, a sister/brother and we all have a fragile heart.

Life on Benita’s Laine

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