If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
I remember hearing that from my mother, other mothers to their children, and from teachers growing up. For the most part, I’ve taken that to heart. Its probably why I haven’t posted anything lately. I haven’t had a lot to say, and what little I have wanted to say … well … its best that I don’t.
It isn’t very nice.
Now before you tell me that its good to get things out, to express yourself, to get things off your chest, to just let loose sometimes …. I know. But. (Oh yes, BUT.) But there are times when expressing yourself in that way makes you feel better to the detriment of someone else.
Some people make themselves feel better by dragging others down with them. They’re the people you try to avoid. Their words stick to you like lint but weigh you down like bricks. You can’t escape them. You feel like you can’t share the good things in your life with them because they’ll take it personally — like your success is an affront to their existence. How dare you? How dare you be happy when they are sad? Was that a smile?! Well!
Did you know that I HATE you because of it?
And when they see the look on your face, they’ll scrunch up theirs, as though offended. “Oh, I’m sorry,” they’ll say sardonically. “Did my feelings just burst that little bubble you had going there? So. Very. Sorry,” as their words drip sarcasm and ooze condescension. They may even sneer at you while they say it.
And sometimes it will really get to you.
So today, as I was listening to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata — my go to “I’m in a mood” piece — a strange thought hit me. Its right when the song turns from melancholy and sad to defiant and even triumphant.
And this thought made me smile. It made me giggle. Its utterly absurd, and yet maybe helpful. So I’m sending this out into the universe:
I’m rubber and you’re glue.
I know, I’m incredibly mature. But think about it: If I’m rubber and you’re glue, when you say that you hate me, what you’re saying is that you hate yourself. And really, that has nothing to do with me, now does it?
And when you make those snide little comments? You’re pointing out things you don’t like about yourself. Maybe you should focus on the issues you have with yourself instead of pointing out perceived ones in me. Or things in me that remind you of .. well … you. You really shouldn’t be so rough on yourself.
And if you love me? You love yourself too. And if someone puts love out into the universe, they should receive just as much in return.
Don’t you agree?