I had a think about this prompt and I realised that despite my best efforts to be in the moment and be more mindful, I am usually moving too fast and trying too much to think ahead to do much watching. I can’t watch TV, because we don’t have one.
So what do I watch the most – probably over time, it is my tongue. I live with my heart on my sleeve and I am a very open kind of person. I am not scared of connecting with people or reaching out to people. I have always been quick to voice my opinion or persuade people of my point of view.
But more and more, I don’t feel the need. I can see the value of shutting my big mouth (my sisters all think I talk too much, they always tell me I ruin their family photos because my mouth is always open as I am in the middle of talking). I can see the value of listening to others, of letting them take their time and get to the good stuff that they know and think.
I am also starting to find out how good it is to watch your tongue in your personal relationships. Mum-in-law has been here for about two and a half months and we haven’t squabbled, I just smile and stay quiet. When hubby does or says something to annoy me, I stay quiet and tell myself it’s no big deal, there is no malice, let it go.
I have come across various versions of the quote below and these words really make a lot of sense to me. Every time I want to say something, I tell myself I might regret saying something, but never in my life have I regretted holding my tongue.
"I have often regretted my speech, never my silence" ~ Publilius Syrus (Roman Writer, 100 BC)
So as I get older, I am learning to watch my tongue and it is with relief and with benefit. I no longer feel the need to fill every silence with senseless chatter and I find myself empowered by letting myself stay calm during awkward silent moments and letting the other person squirm.