Shut Your Mouth

By Vance Larson


Shut your mouth. Stop talking. And if you must. Speak of beauty. This is the key to our happiness. I have spent my entire adult life working in mental health. I have spent my entire life meditating. There is power in silence. But, do you know what else has power? Our words.
The very words we speak dictate the quality of our lives. I have written many time over about how the company we keep shapes us. And while studies show not only is that true, we must include ourselves in that equation. For the single person you spend the most time with is yourself. And if you're always speaking of your pains, problems and troubles, you are in fact magnifying them. Learn to speak of the good in your life. Speak life into others. Negative words are a curse. The good news is you can change that. Speak of beauty and reverse the curse.


While it can be very therapeutic to talk your problems out, you must not get stuck there. So how do we do that? There are a few things to keep in mind. I'm not talking about the garden variety "it's been a bad day". I'm taking about non stop complaining. I think we all have someone like that in our lives. For me it's a family member. I speak about how to handle that in just a moment. But getting back to talking your problems out. There is an old saying. The past is a great place to visit, but you don't want to pitch a tent there.






There are things we can learn from our past. The trade-off is that when we are consumed by it, we are missing out on what's happening today. Be it good or bad, today is what matters most. So, when you're having that bad day, of course get with a friend and talk it out. Take it from the people you love and trust the most. If you continue to talk about the same problem to them {without taking any action on your part}, eventually they will stop listening. And you should respect that. If you're truly struggling with a specific issue, or have been diagnosed with PTSD, you should be speaking to a therapist about it. While a friend or family member can offer support, a therapist is equipped to deal with this. You owe it to yourself to get healthy.


So what about that family member that all they do is talk about their problems. I view that the same way as someone living with addiction. If they're not willing to get help, no amount of talking to them is going to save them. They must take action on their own. In my case, I have put a lot of distance in between that family member and myself. I love them dearly, but it is unhealthy for me to be around such negativity all the time. I keep phone conversations short. And, I limit in person visits to just lunch. Anything longer and I feel drained and resentful. I respect this persons choice to talk about all the things that are wrong in the world. But I cannot be a part of that. Realizing I cannot change them, I honor their space and give them as much as I can without being resentful.







Words are powerful. Not only what we say out loud, but the internal conversations that we have with ourselves. What does your internal dialog sound like? Does it lead to something good? Or, does it take you to the dark places? What about the conversations that you engage in? Are they helpful or hurtful?
Speak life. Reverse the curse. The power you feel comes from the very words that leave your mouth. Not feeling powerful? Shut your mouth. Stop talking. And if you must. Speak of beauty.


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