I have a big mouth. I know it...most people around me know it. It has been known to get me into trouble once in awhile. When I was in kindergarten my teacher informed my parents, "You know you have no secrets, right?" Because, alas, I had a big mouth even then. Thanks to a lot of life lessons, I have learned how to harness that big mouth and use it diplomatically...most of the time. I get my point across, but usually in a way that isn't hurtful or abrasive. My husband tells me I have mastered the art of telling someone to "buzz off" (insert expletive here), only to leave them wondering, "Did she just tell me that?" Usually, I consider this an asset, and most people tend to agree. However, I have found that my ability to harness my big mouth and be diplomatic is not as in tune as it used to be. I tend to have much less patience and am much quicker to just say whatever is in my mind, regardless of who is listening or what environment I'm in. My filter is much less refined than it used to be.
Since our short time with Faith, and our experience around that part of our life, I find that my emotions rest so incredibly close to the surface. All the time...even now, a year and a half later, emotions are not as easily squelched as they were before. Last year when I first returned to work, I often chose one of two paths - 1) confront something head on, say what I think (abrasively at times), emotions high, "damn the consequences" or 2) try to avoid high-stress situations where I knew I couldn't handle the emotional stress and stay in the background. I have found myself feeling stronger this year and have more readily accepted situations where the stress is high, believing I had the emotional strength to withstand it without falling apart at the seams or taking anyone out in my wake.
God has recently reminded me that this may not be the case. God has again sent me a little message...a sign...that I may need to readjust my lens. I fear that I may have unintentionally hurt someone with my words recently. While much of the words I said were from the heart and very much something I meant, I should have said them differently and addressed the situation without letting my emotions get the better of me. Because though I meant what I said, I did not mean the how it was said.
Grief is organic. It is a living, breathing thing, ever-changing in its manifestation. Only someone that has never grieved a loved one will doubt this. But I can tell you that I have again been reminded that while the intensity of grief is far less than a year ago, it is never gone. And occasionally, when I take on too much I am reminded with a wallop that I am not the person I used to be. I have lost a little bit of that piece of me that could keep everything emotionally organized and speak from a place of diplomacy whenever necessary. Because my emotions aren't so organized. And though they are much, much more together than in the immediate aftermath of losing Faith, I think I'm beginning to accept that I will never again be quite as "together" as I once was. I do okay 95% of the time and have found a way to "check out" when necessary. I've remembered how to keep my mouth shut when necessary (really, I have) and take a breath before I open my mouth...most of the time.
But, once in awhile, God must remind me that I am not the person I was. It is an often humbling message and one that is not lost on me. None of this is to say that I am incapable of being the strong, vocal advocate I have been known for being. I think it just means that I need to listen to the message. I need to listen to my heart and understand that I do have my limits, and even more now than ever, I must respect them so that my big mouth remains my asset and not my detriment.
2018 Speaking Calendar
4 weeks ago