One of my favorite tunes is titled Words As Weapons, it explains how words from a loved one can quickly become a weapon. That song paints a beautiful picture of how something meant with love can come off instead as a weight. Each and every day we all say things, from what may be a loving perspective, but puts the receiver in a place of turmoil or having feelings of being less than. Easily put guilt and doubt now have a home. And many of us aren't even aware that we do it. Not to say it wasn't out of good intentions, but sometimes some things are better left unsaid. I was asked once, "is what you are about to say going to help or hurt and will it change anything?" After that moment something clicked for me. Hopefully what I share here helps you in some way.  After that moment I started looking at things a lot differently when a friend chose to seek me out as a sounding board. I found myself really starting to talk less and truly listen more. Once words have been given an ear to rest upon they cannot be unheard. From here many things hang in the balance...so again I ask, is what you are about you say helpful?

This past weekend I had the pleasure to be at a reception and heard a sister stand to speak about her younger sister whose wedding it was. The end of her speech struck cords within my soul and brought tears to my eyes. She closed her toast with sharing the fact that she had been unable to conceive and how her sister took it on as her mission during her journey to help her and many women like her. But what she said next was the money shot. She said:

  "You know it seems to go, as soon as a couple gets married the first thing people rush and seem to ask is, 'when are you going to start your family'? That is a very personal question and choice whether to start a family or not start a one. What if they aren't able to have a family? So I encourage you, make your first question to a new couple, what have you learned new about your partner.? Let's all try not to add weights."

I wanted to give her the biggest cheer ever! Here's why, it is so hard for some to seperate their emotions from a situation that will never directly affect them. But to be a helpful human to our fellow man, we must strive to start acknowleding and not putting our own feelings on someone else. We all get privileges to experience a loved ones story while they go through it. Heck you may even have had the privilege of going through something similar. But their journey and life is not yours. Even if you aid in some way during their experience, it is never yours to have a final decison on. And that is where words as weapons begin, when we try to take on others journey's as our own emotional baggage.

Being able to observe while not passing judgement is the highest form of intelligence.  When you love someone and care for them in any way, it is hard to observe without interjecting and some of us interject our voices stronger than others. This can be both a good and bad thing. Being aware of when to be that driving voice in a situation and when to sit back and realize no matter how you feel it is not your personal journey, so sit back, enjoy and respect the ride along... being able to operate in this balance is a true art form. When we start a sentence with 'if it were me', we have already started down the weighted words path. First off, it isn't you and if you are thinking from that perspective every conversation that follows will carry significant weight along with it. And most likely the receiving party is going to be effected the opposite of your intent. People get so excited and don't even realize what they are say carries signafiant weight. Be it asking when someone will start a family or getting overly emotional with someone after they make a personal decison that you may not align with. When someone holds you in any type of regard your words hold a powerful place in their space. To say if it were me, is so selfish because most haven't even stopped to consider what there loved one is actually faced with and stand in.

A simple way to start keeping check on if you can stand in what I like to call the gray, (the area where you are truly looking at every perspective while sifting through your own personal feelings towards the matter but not making statements based on just 'feelings'.) Ask yourself these few simple questions before speaking out loud or sending a message:

Do I understand what is expected and needed of them daily, by others and what they need to?

Do I understand what their mental state is?

Am I aware of what must be sacraficied?

How would those words taste coming at me if it really were my situation?

If you can't answer those questions honestly, then you aren't prepared to comment on someone's journey. Your thoughts are to narrow to begin to fully understand where they are even coming from and your words serve to hurt more than help.

Some might ask, what gives me the right to blog on this topic? Because I've been personally living through one of the biggest and widely debated subjects ever! So stay around. BMAC is getting back on track as well as music, and life in general. Stay locked into Erica Parrott These Are The Times YouTube https://www.youtube.com/c/ericaparrottthesearethetimes more on this topic this week on Eluminate and a video chat of a lifetime launchingon YouTube. I bare it all while catching up with one girls from my circle of 8. The age of authecity is upon us. And we learn through ours and others experiences. May my journey and experiences help lighten someone elses load. Warning, it will be raw, real and tough to hear but aren't most real subjects.

Have a blessed day and I'll see you right here full time! Don't forget ELUMINATE is moving to YOUTUBE as well starting this coming week!!! Don't miss out!!

Erica P.

BTW To my circle of 8 you know who you are...thank you for always loving the people in your life unconditonally! You are true examples of family. You are always there when your tribe needs you and for that I am very thankful to call you friend and thankfully for your existence.