Have you ever said something you later regretted? I certainly have. Many times. One time when I felt like letting my daughter have a verbal lashing, I didn’t. I bit my tongue and learned an important lesson in the process.
My oldest daughter Erika was home from college for the summer and for one reason or another we were just not getting along. This is what I recorded in my journal that day:
Today was Mother’s Day. It was a good day. However, first I want to note what I feel was a significant thing that happened to me today. My relationship with Erika lately had been less than warm. It seemed we were clashing about something on a daily basis and I was so down and depressed about it. I just was so sad inside. I had no smiles in me. It was like I had a dark cloud following me around. And of course last night it happened again when we had some not-so-nice words about what you call a car gas cap, of all things! I wanted so bad to just chew her out and tell her how I really felt about the way she talks to me. I felt like telling her if she wanted to live here she better treat me right or she should just go live somewhere else. But I bit my tongue and said nothing.
Well, this morning I still had the gloomy cloud over me. I was in the bathroom about to shave when Erika came in. She smiled at me and then apologized about what she said last night. I told her that her apology was accepted and that I forgave her.
I was really amazed that the dark gloomy cloud over me totally lifted. From that point on my whole day was great. I felt so good inside like a light had been turned on. Even my headache went away.
Two things I learned: First the value of holding your tongue. If I had chewed her out I’m sure we would still have bad blood between us. The second thing I learned was the power of our moods and how much they affect everything we do – for good or ill. Interesting.
Next time you get the urge to verbally berate someone, think twice and bite your tongue. You may be surprised at the outcome.