Have you ever felt like you needed to get something off your chest, have that last word, or say your peace?
I recently wrote a piece like this, expecting that, once I wrote my side of the story, I would feel better, but something inside me was preventing me from pressing publish.
I thought that if I proclaimed my opinions, explained my actions, and made my peace with everything, that I could wipe my slate clean, but I realized I had approached my angst from the wrong angle. I had to take a step back. Look at the situation with an outside perspective. Analyze my motives.
Why do we always feel that we needed to defend ourselves?
That’s what we’re doing when we go out of our way to spew a rebuttal, right?
We’re defending ourselves: our character, way of thinking, compelled to prove a point.
If I had pressed publish, I know it would not have ended there with a period the way I planned, but with an ellipse… waiting for a reaction. I realized that waiting for a response was defeating the purpose of my closing statement and was ultimately contributing, even more, to the problem.
If we really want to be free from worry, we need to actually stop worrying — stop expecting anything in return.
It is no one’s place in this world to convince the stubborn, or validate the skeptic. People believe what they want to believe, often times lie to themselves with convenient truths to avoid harsh realities.
It is why we care so much about our first impressions. You can never undo someone’s initial reaction, and when we are judging each other’s writing (our thoughts and experiences), it hurts a lot more than being told you have lipstick on your teeth.
We think that having the last word will help us rest easier knowing we didn’t keep our opinions bottled up, but it’s never about being the bigger person or waving the white flag of surrender to the people in our lives that frustrate us. In my experience, there is always an ulterior motive and in the end, it doesn’t make the weight we carry on our shoulders any lighter.
We have to be confident in our views and in ourselves when we choose to share what’s important to us — regardless if we are whispering our secrets to the ones we love or writing them in a poem, story, or article on the internet.
I decided that I didn’t need to write my feelings at length to prove anything to anyone. I was no longer going to be the one to add fuel to the fire.
We never end up clearing the air, but instead polluting it with resentment and spite; feeling the need to explain and ‘stick up for ourselves’, does not create a conducive environment for peace, but a battleground for fighting words.
I do not believe in worrying about things you can not change and sometimes, things are just better left unsaid.