Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Gossip Hurts

 I've been thinking a lot lately on my ability to quickly and sometimes harshly judge those around me. It's something I've done since I was little and it's something I can do without little or no effort.

As a little girl, I had a hard time keeping friends. This was partly because of my own choices but it had to do with the hurtful things that others were saying behind my back. I had a hard time not doing the same to others since that's what others had done to me.

Then I grew up, had children, and I thought that would all be over. But gossip doesn't just all together come to a complete stop just because you magically become older.

When I was called to be in the Relief Society presidency at my church last year, I knew the gossip had to stop. I was responsible for loving every woman in our ward and I tried so hard. Even when I had a hard time loving certain people, I cut out the gossip from my life. If I needed to get something off my chest, I could always turn to my husband or my sister who lived in a different state.

A couple of months ago, I learned some information and realized just how badly gossip can hurt a person. It's hard to know you've been the brunt of the gossip when you don't even know what you did wrong. Honestly, it's made me feel more self concious around others. It's made me careful of who I'm around and what I say to people. It's changed my outlook on gossip altogether.

Gossip really hurts and most of the time, it isn't true information. I've tried so hard to be a better person since I know firsthand the effects that gossip can have on a family or individual.
The thing is, most of the time, we gossip because we are jealous. But it is possible to be happy with what you have, no matter how much you have.
 If you judge someone, try walking even ten feet in their shoes. You might find that the things you're judging them for are things you would not want to handle in your own life. We all have struggles and we have reasons for why we make certain decisions. It's better to assume that someone is making the best choice possible than to assume they are rude or inconsiderate or dumb or bad. You don't always know the whole story.
 Another form of judgement is comparison. I've had a hard time with this my whole life but more prominently since becoming a mother. I see children doing things my children aren't. I've had situations where others will point out things other children do that my children aren't. My kids walked at 13 and 14 months old. I no longer consider that "late" but it sure seemed late when other kids were walking before a year old. {It's funny how silly that seems now}I've been in situations where I'll watch other moms that are skinnier than me and all of a sudden, I'm thinking negative thoughts about myself. I sometimes see others my age with bigger houses, nicer cars, and other fancy things and I get sad that I don't have those things when in reality, things aren't the most important thing. Comparison really is the thief of joy.
It's silly, the comparisons we make to each other or to our children. God intended us all to be different. He intended us to make different choices, to look different ways, and to act differently.
That last quote seems a bit harsh but maybe harsh is what's needed amongst the gossip that seems to consume a lot of women. If you don't witness it, don't act like you know it's true. And even if you do witness it, you may not understand the reasoning behind it. You can never fully understand the circumstances someone is in because you aren't them.

My wish is that you'll try with me to stop judging others and to not talk behind their backs. I believe it will bring happiness to others but moreso, it will bring happiness to you.

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