A series of strange events over the last few weeks found me electronically and then physically unable to communicate. I remarked to a friend that God was doing a good job of keeping me mute.
For three weeks, my broken keyboard was unable to generate the letters I, K and a whole host of numbers. Without the letter I, my notes were craftily rewritten to eliminate this letter. It was a valuable lesson in how frequently my messages talk about ME.
Yes, this is a personal blog, primarily about motherhood, but also about traits we all have in common. My writing has always been in the first person to make it understood that the observations are my own and not to be construed as mandates, judgments or even instructions.
But maybe I’m doing it all wrong?
Just as I was trying to sort out the pervasiveness of I and me in my writing, I was stricken with laryngitis. For the past 5 days, I have been unable to talk beyond a raspy croak. My kids find it amusing. I’m not a very chatty girl, but having my voice taken away has forced me to listen, nod and respond only when asked a direct question.
These unique and frustrating circumstances reinforced two powerful lessons:
- Remaining silent has the power to draw out more information from those around you. This is a basic rule of interviewing and negotiating, but using it as a parent has been extremely rewarding.
- Speaking with grace also means talking without using yourself as the example. Trying to write even one paragraph without relating back to oneself is an interesting exercise. It takes some discipline. And even more difficult is having a conversation without referring to yourself.
As I was stewing about this post, and exactly how to word it, the Wayne Dyer calendar message on my desk communicated more eloquently than I have been able to:
“Remember that at every single moment of your life, you have the choice to either be a host to God or a hostage to your ego.”
MOM DARE: Can you eliminate the “I” from your conversations and become a better listener? How many times do you respond to a conversation by telling a story about your own experience even though you were not directly asked about it? This is a struggle and a powerful lesson for me. I am now a mindful listener when my husband or child or anyone around me is talking. I think first before I speak. Instead of using “I” in the response, I think of how to use “you”.
Grace and Peace.
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