Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Gossip and Venting Hurt. They Don't Help.

I want to take a few minutes this afternoon to talk about another aspect of simplifying:  Simplifying our thoughts and speech.  Without getting into specifics, I want to share that I am going through a very rough time in one aspect of my life at the moment.  This part of my life has been a source of intense pain for many, many years.  I have been trying to resolve it, but so far have not had much luck.  I've picked up some helpful tips along the way, and I largely am accepting What Is and giving thanks for my blessings.  (Gift horses, and all that.)  The fact remains that this situation eats away at me daily and has diminished the quality of my life.  It's very frustrating, and I'm having a hard time not becoming bitter about it, but I'm plugging away at resolving the issue.

Needless to say, there have been times when I've needed to vent, and vent I did!  Oh, boy!  All someone had to do was mention the problem, and I'd be off like a rocket, just spewing venom and barbs. For a while, it was nice to get out with friends and just let fly.  Sure, a little venting is good. You get that angst out of your system, and then you move on, hopefully with more focus on the tasks before you.  Unfortunately, I got caught up in the rush of sharing my negative feelings for a while with anyone who would listen. After a while, though, I found that this venting did not actually help me much at all.  It made me feel worse

Once I figured this out, I made a firm decision to focus on what is positive in my life right now and in particular on what I am doing to try and solve my current problem.  I immediately felt better, and my whole attitude around this issue shifted.  It's still a horrible situation, and I still want to change it, but what has happened is that I am less stressed out, I have more energy, and I am accomplishing more.  This does not mean that I don't still vent once in a while--I definitely do!

Recently, I found out that an acquaintance is in a very similar situation. We have a mutual friend to whom this person also talks. It would be very easy for me and the friend to get together and discuss X's situation, but I don't.  Why?  For one thing, it's rude.  X has not given us permission to discuss their situation.  Also, as I am a believer in the idea that thoughts are things and that we have real power to effect outcomes for ourselves and others in life, I feel that to discuss X when X is not around could possibly compromise X's outcomes.  It's not my job or the mutual friend's job to fix X's situation any more than it is to fix each other's.  Instead, I make myself available to X, and if the three of us are together and X wants to talk (and I about my situation,) then I remain open. I have also expressed to X that if they need to talk, I am here for them.

The truth of the matter is that I really hate gossip, and I really try not to involve myself in it. Does it happen?  Sure, but once I become aware, I tend to step back from it and not participate.  Am I nosey or curious about others?  Sure I am, but I prefer to let others come to me and share in their due time and as they want.  It's more important to me that I be available to help the people I care about than it is to know what's going on with everyone all the time.

I guess I wanted to share this, partially because things are very intense right now for both X and myself, and I relate to them really strongly regarding this issue.  It's tempting to vent and discuss the situation, but I am trying to help X, and I have also shared my strategy of shifting focus to solving problems and ideal outcomes, rather than spending so much time venting.

Please keep your fingers crossed for me.  I've been working hard for several years to overcome my issue, and I'm not giving up now!

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