Friday, May 21, 2010

P4E.148 The Best Safety Device is a Careful Man - Part 10

Construction Site Sign

A safe man is careful with: His thought life (cont'd)

If you're like me you live a lot of your life in your mind. Here's what I've observed in myself: If I'm thinking some negative thought I usually don't have a problem expressing it somehow. My face, my body language and my voice will all reflect that I'm having a negative thought. Also, I will verbalize what I'm thinking when it's negative. It's another story when I'm thinking neutral or positive thoughts. When something pleases me I rarely let my face know. I rarely verbalize when I'm planning something or am thinking positive thoughts.

Here's an example: I want to wash one of my cars. I realize that I need soap so I take the other car and go to the store (but I don't let my wife, Gwen, know). I come home and the car I want to wash is gone! I ask Gwen 'where is the car?' She says, 'oh, Jon asked me if he could use it to go to a friend's house and I said he could.' I get angry and say, 'But, I was going to wash it!' And of course, she responds, 'Well, how was I supposed to know that?'

Here's a second example: Gwen wears a new dress and is all made up to go out with me. I see her. It pleases me and I think 'wow, Gwen looks great.' But I don't say anything. Later, I wonder why she is aloof and quiet. But, I don't ask why. Finally, she is forced to confront me by saying 'You didn't notice my new dress!' It doesn't sound very convincing when I respond 'I did notice it, it looks great, I just didn't say it!'

Sound familiar (or is it just me)?

Because of my track record of bad communication with my wife, I'm making every effort to implement some self-imposed rules:

RULE #1: When I'm having a neutral thought (like intentions or planning) or a positive thought, I speak it. I try to remember, just because I've thought something doesn't mean I've communicated it .

There is a Scriptural basis for letting those closest to me know what is going on in my mind. My example is Christ and He told His disciples:

"No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you."

He spoke. He communicated. He shared His plans with those closest to Him.

I have become more self-aware because of this first rule. Before I can share my plans, I have to formulate them myself and be aware of them. Before I can speak a positive thought I have to have one. I look for positives and overlook negatives.

RULE #2: Is a restatement of "mom's rule": "If I don't have anything good to say....I don't say anything at all."

Since I 'say' things not only with my mouth, but with my face, eyes, tone of voice, body language, etc. I have to make a special effort not to convey negativity even when I don't speak it.

With this mindset, I am more aware of my natural tendency to be critical, judgmental, condemning, cynical, sarcastic, harsh, mean-spirited, finger-pointing, angry, frustrated, defensive, and just plain negative. Knowhuttahmean? I get shocked when I realize how much and how often I have this mindset. But, I'm encouraged to know that God can help me to change!

Be Safe! Kim

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