Shhhhh Don't Tell Anyone, but...



Motherhood has opened an entirely new door of gossip potential. In the past gossip centered around romantic entanglements, drunken escapades and career scandal, now gossip has even more fuel. There are people's homes to critique, husbands to speculate about, parenting styles to criticize and even children to whisper about.

And really, I thought gossiping was reserved for the sorority house and maybe, when I was 80, the retirement village.

For better or worse, most of us do it. We gossip. We listen to gossip. We read gossip. We pass tiny little judgments that spiral into enormously malicious spoken words. 

We pass tiny little judgments that spiral into enormously malicious spoken words.

Maybe we think we are just venting. But we all know it takes one little nugget of not-so-nice-knowledge to destroy a reputation or a friendship.

I am certainly not innocent. I am completely guilty of gossiping, but I like to believe in my heart that I vent or I share information that does not hurt anyone or harm anyone or have any meaning. 

Of course, I am fooling myself. 

Even when we just read a story about Brad Pitt in US Weekly and then forward the story to a friend, we are harming someone. We are passing along something that is absolutely none of our business and spreading the bad words along, encouraging the conversation about something that does not matter at all.

Or when we decide someone has slighted us and we decide to take our case to the streets. We tell our friend that Sally-Jo is a snob and then well, Sally-Jo, becomes a snob in the minds of everyone who hears it. 

And then did I mention that our children are watching all of this. Listening to every word, working out in their minds how gossip can be social gold. 

We tell our friend that Sally-Jo is a snob
and then well, Sally-Jo, becomes a snob
in the minds of everyone who hears it.

It is nasty stuff this gossip. As a recovering gossip addict (who slips off the wagon from time to time), I'd like to share the lessons I have learned from Christ, yoga and motherhood. Here are my top 3.

  1. My Aunt-in-Law Lydia, put it best when she quoted Joyce Meyer: "When you have a problem, go to the Throne and not the phone." Take your judgments, your concerns, your slights to God, to Christ, to whomever your higher power is. Think before you act — then decide, do I need to share this information with anyone, ever? 
  2. Know the difference between good and bad gossip. Good gossip: Did you hear that Sally-Jo got a new job? Bad gossip: Did you hear Sally-Jo has to go back to work? In yoga, we talk about Ashimsa — non-violence. Good gossip is not violent. Bad Gossip is. 
  3. Love all. Fully and openly. My children taught me this. They could care less about the price tag of someone's car or their career. They love all;  in turn, they don't have a bad word to say.

Trish Adkins is a South Jersey mom. This post is adapted from blog, Yoke.

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