Many years ago, my brother-in-law told my husband that there were major flaws in my character which would negatively affect the relationship between our two families. At the top of that list was the fact that I didn’t talk enough to make my sister-in-law feel comfortable. (This continues to bother me, because I would never judge a person’s worth based on how many words come out of their mouth.) Along with the list of my supposed flaws came the expectation that I would need to change before I would even be worth taking the time to get to know. (Nice relatives, huh? Is it any wonder that I haven’t seen that sister-in-law in nearly 8 years!)
Their opinion and expectations hurt deeply, and for a long time, but I have forgiven and moved onward with my life. My in-laws…well, it would seem that they are stuck in a vicious cycle of self-inflicted isolation and bitterness. In an ironic twist, I have changed so much over the past few years, and yet, not in the ways that my in-laws demanded. With the right people and the right topics, I might be more talkative, but I am always going to be one of the quieter ones in the group. Put enough wine into me and I might talk a little more freely, but I still won’t be the life of the party! What my in-laws failed to understand is that I do not fit in their skins and never will. Instead of accepting me as I was and allowing me to be myself, they chose to attack and reject. It’s their loss.
The words that often get stuck before ever escaping my mouth are not lost in space. I could be wrong, but I cling to the belief that my friends and the people who love me love and accept me just the way I am, even if I am not talking their ears off at every opportunity. Those who are closest to me could likely attest to the fact that my lack of loquaciousness is counteracted by my propensity for sharing my heart and thoughts with written words. I love the written word. I love greeting cards and hand-written letters; I love to give both! In fact, if you’d appreciate a card in the mail, let me have your address!
Just this afternoon I placed heart-felt words into a card for a friend. I really don’t think my friend minds that I don’t talk as much as she does! 😉