"In fact, not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die"
— Anne Lamott (Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith)
i've been thinking a lot about language and behavior, mine mostly, and i've been trying to be more conscious of the things that come out of my mouth and how they shape my reality. i discovered via a sort of experiment last year that if i stopped describing myself as "crazy busy" every time someone asked i felt less harried. i had to take a deep breath at first to keep myself from my automatic overreaction but as time went on i began answering in more honest and calmer ways. i've tried to extend that into other areas of my life by removing some negative language from my vocabulary and not indulging as much in negative talk. okay, it doesn't always work. i like to blow up just like the next guy and it's so pleasurable sometimes to slip into that muddy pit of complaint.
this morning i was smacked right between the eyes with a fine example of why i should work harder at my goal. i read a message from a person who has been away for quite some time but even with the passage of time still cannot let go of bitterness that has no affect on those it's aimed at but is clearly eating at him. it was such a profoundly sad display and so toxic that it made me sick to my stomach. i may just use his name as my mantra when i'm on the verge of blowing up or when i'm feeling ugly. unbeknownst to him, in his ugliness, he's done something beautiful.