If you eat well, you must speak well.
– Yoruba proverb
Over the last few years, I’ve cut myself off from certain people including some who have been friends for many, many years. This, was largely due to the fact that they began to act in a very hurtful manner towards me and I, having worked on my own self-esteem, realized that I couldn’t tolerate such behavior any more. I can say with all honesty that having them out of my life has freed me from a lot of stress and allowed me to grow.
If You Eat Well?
The fact that they are no longer a part of my life does not mean that I am not grateful for their goodness to me in the past. No, I do remember past assistance, and times when these persons were there for me and stood by me. But sometimes that gets overshadowed by more recent behavior and actions. I’ll admit, it’s very hard to speak of them kindly. And that’s an area I would like to work on.
According to Iyanlya Vanzant, the ancient Africans taught that if a person is good to you, you must forever speak good of them. So the proverb, ‘if you eat well, you must speak well’ literally means that if you enjoyed someone’s hospitality, then you must always speak well of them, even if they no longer extend you the same courtesy.
Do you agree with this philosophy? And are you having a struggle like I am?Inlinkz Link Party
I try and speak well to whoever I come across- and yes even to those who hurt me. It is very, very hard, but it is a sort of practice. I do not seek out the company of those who hurt me, but I tell myself that they are my biggest teachers, because in learning to speak well to them and think well of them, I learnt a lot about who I am becoming, if that makes any sense, Corinne. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to hurt you, though. You’ve been so kind and helpful to me, and I always think of you with love and gratitude.
Oh I believe this too in a restricted manner .I prefer to avoid saying unkind things if I cannot be kind and honest too.Stress over anything is not worth it.Insightful post.I am getting my post reday for Monday.
I understand your take on this. I , for one , am the kind that doesn’t let anyone in. I learnt to be cautious quite early in life. But that had let to me not trusting anyone. Which is bad on all counts. So in a way it is like saying, “It’s better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all”. Right?
You have always been kind to me too. And there is always a part of me that will be grateful for your kind words. Hugs to you.
I appreciate your balance here. We can go forward in wisdom, adjusting our relationships, and still appreciate the gift of the “good days.” I think you are wise not to jettison the good even though you are moving toward better.
the bespectacled mother
I read this post before going to sleep last night and found the first paragraph was so me. I have been pushing away people from my personal zone left, right and centre off late. Some I have known for ages while some others have been relatively new. These people may not have necessarily hurt me (or hurt me hard enough) but these are the ones my wavelength no longer matches with. It is also true that these people were good to me once or more than once or maybe for years but now I do not connect with them at any level. Am I a terrible person who cannot hold on to people? This is a question which plagues me and adds to my negativity.
For now, I have closed myself to new friendsships and relations just wanting to stay within my small circle who wish me good and I feel happy for them despite the negativity.
If you ask me if I can follow the philosophy ‘If you eat well’, I can say I can because deep down I know so.
I’m sorry you’ve been hurt by so many, Corinne. Great that you’ve been able to alleviate the situation! There haven’t been that many toxic relationships in my life and I have a fairly “thick skin” in any case. Only once did I consciously end a friendship with someone who was a pathological liar, among other things. Life is too short to hold grudges, so I bear her no ill will and would be cordial if we met again, but have no interest in renewing the relationship.
I loved your post. It is best to free yourself from people who hurt you and at the same time remember their kindness. All I can say is that such incidents help a person to become stronger in life.
I generally try to express gratitude in general to even my enemies however at times things are easily said than done. Often I find few people so annoying that it is difficult to praise them or speak good of them but I am practicing.
I am trying to remove or reduce the interaction with such people. And that’s really good for my peace of mind. When speaking about them with others, I do focus on the positive. But it’s the negative ones that play on my mind. It’s not healthy, but I am working in that direction. Thanks for this food for thought!
I understand where you come from. I have had people hurt me in unimaginable ways. I use to carry the hurt till I realised that I was hurting myself and allowing them too much space in my life, so I decided to forgive them and release them with gratitude for the lessons learnt and unconditional love. That set me free!