A friend of mine has a very trying relationship with her mother in law. The woman is one of those who like to stick her oar in everything, including those things that don’t concern her. She’s very critical about everything and rarely has anything good to say about people.
My friend – Leila, is very feisty and sharp tongued. On many occasions she’s spoken from her heart and told her mother in law off. As you can imagine this has caused a lot of embarrassment and increased tensions between the couple not to mention other members of the extended family.
In a bid to patch things up, Richard, Leila’s husband invites his parents and his in-laws over for dinner. His wife didn’t have to do the cooking, he’d ordered food in, all they had to do was sit and talk. Richard braced himself to be a referee, and prepared himself for a sling match. And that’s exactly what happened.
What was most shocking wasn’t so much that there was an argument; it was what was being said. Leila was quick to say Richard could have turned out a better and more successful person if his mother wasn’t a controlling busy body. Her mother in law was quick to retort that her sharp tongue and bitter heart is the reason why her womb has been closed and she isn’t a mother after six years of trying to get pregnant.
As Leila relayed the horrors of that night to me, I couldn’t help but conclude there’s so much bitterness between the women that they’re blinded to its impact on the rest of the family. Each one is holding on tightly to a grudge, refusing to let go of past hurts.
It’s so true that from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Everything in the heart bubbles up to the fore in our actions and our words. Sometimes we think things are dead and buried and we’ve forgiven and forgotten, but we haven’t, all it takes is a look or a word from someone of the sight of them to stir something bitter up, and it all comes rushing out.
Thankfully I’ve got the best mother-in-law in the world, so I can’t say I know how Leila feels, however, I know what it’s like to really despise someone and what I hated most was being shackled by the hatred, being restricted to a place of discomfort, pain and aggression as opposed to being free, happy, confident and open.
I’ve been learning to truly love people, especially those really hard to love. I discovered that the things they say and do won’t really hurt me if I look past their actions and consider the reasons why they are acting that way. Many people behave like victims of their past and present circumstances, and knowing that helps with being patient with their shortcomings and their flaws.
Many things spill out of the heart through our mouths that sometimes surprise us. A good friend of mine doesn’t believe that silly thing people do where they say something nasty and then say, ‘I’m only joking.’ Nah, as far as she’s concerned, it aint no joke, it’s something the heart has been harbouring for a long time. I know someone that gets in trouble a lot because of what she says “jokingly” turns out her jokes are rather expensive and very hurtful. I can’t help but think, there are some dark clouds looming on that heart that unleash a torrent of pain and hurt.
I remember once during a minor spat with an ex-boyfriend I wasn’t happy with, I blurted out, ‘I think we should go on a break.’ Needless to say once the genie was let out of the bottle there was no putting it back in. That was it, that relationship died an untimely death. At the time I didn’t know how bored I was with him until I was relieved it was over.
Have you blurted out something that surprised you or revealed how you really feel?