Since I love music so very much it seems that I have a new favorite song each week. This week the title of 'Favorite' is bestowed upon John Mayer's latest release "Say". In case you don't know what song I'm referring to, please scroll to the bottom of my blog and take a listen. Generally I'm not the biggest John Mayer fan on the block even though a few megabytes of memory are hopelessly devoted to him on my iPod. And seriously, what is up with him and Jennifer Aniston these days? I digress...
Today in the car was the first time that I really paid attention to the lyrics and for whatever reason they really struck a chord with me. Well, not all of them, but some of them. Allow me to share a few:
"Take all your so called problems/better put them in quotations"
How true is that. Of course we all have problems. Every single one of us does, and unfortunately some have much much bigger ones than others do. But I wonder what would happen if we took the time to stop and think about how much worse our problems could be...or better yet, think about all the good in our life. Perhaps those problems would seem more like molehills instead of mountains. For example: "I can't believe that I have to spend so much money in rent every single month. I would be able to do so much more if I didn't have to shell out so much just to live." Definitely deserving of quotations. Instead, I should say what [I] need to say which is "I am so fortunate that I have a job where I earn enough money to live in a nice and safe apartment that I can call home." I know, I know...you think I'm being lame. But seriously, I have a job. I have a pretty nice apartment with a gate and a pool for crying out loud. I should be thanking Jesus for those things everyday.
"Living up the same old moment/knowing you'd be better off instead/if you could only... say what you need to say"
Am I the only one who replays scenes over and over again thinking "gah, if only I had said ______, then I would feel so much better or things might have turned out so differently." If I had a dollar for every time I've thought that or something similar I would be independently wealthy before age 30. Why don't we say those things? For one, the reason why I don't always is because I'm such a thinker that I need time to process something before responding. Hence the reason you'll never see me in a presidential debate. However more often than not, I don't say it because I worry (ugh, curse word) how the other person will react. I certainly don't believe in saying something simply to have the last word. That is not saying what you need to say. That's saying what you want to say. And I have found that having the last word often leads to unpleasant situations.
"You better know that in the end/it's better to say too much/than never to say what you need to say again"
Is is really better to say too much than keep something that you really feel bottled up inside? I think so. With discretion. Fortunately (or unfortunately, sometimes) for me, if there is something that I need to say then I will eventually do it. Sure, I can keep it in for a little while but then it just reaches a point where I feel like I'll explode if I don't say it. Like...I can't go to sleep at night without getting it off my chest first. And I'm not one to lose sleep. This little component of my personality has elicited a few late night phone calls and conversations over the years. But why do we so often keep it inside? Usually I do it because I'm afraid that I will make someone mad... or hurt a person's feelings... or become vulnerable by doing so. Which is ridiculous I know. For instance if I'm genuinely worried about a friend due to the decisions that he or she is making, what kind of friend am I if I don't say anything because I'm afraid it will make them upset with me? What kind of friendship is it if we can't be totally open and honest with each other? Not a very solid one. There was a point in my life a couple of years ago when I prayed for vulnerability. Warning: Think long and hard about praying for vulnerability before you do it. God certainly answered my prayer and there were times when I probably said too much, but that's really just my pride talking when I say that. I learned so much during that time. One thing being we can't take it for granted and assume that we will get another chance to say something so it's best to use the opportunity when it presents itself.
Words are powerful (contrary to the whole "sticks and stones" rhyme). They have the ability to change lives. Imagine what could happen if became conscious of how we used them on a daily basis.
Are you saying what you need to say?