This I Believe

Jessica - Plano, Texas
Entered on June 20, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: integrity

I believe in saying what is on my mind, plain and simple.

I have a rocky relationship with my husband’s parents. We really don’t see eye-to-eye on many things. They tend to sweep difficult issues under the rug never to be talked about again. Following yet another disagreement where it would be expected that I sweep my feelings under the rug, I did the opposite. I practiced the very philosophy that I am writing about today. I said what was on my mind. I shared some feelings that I had been holding in for several months. I left a few voice messages where I told my in-laws what disappointing grandparents I feel they are to my child, how inconsiderate they are of other people’s schedules, and I also shared how hurtful it is to get blamed for all the disagreements they have with their son. (A mouthful I know!) When I was finished, I hung up the phone, exhaled, and instantly felt my shoulders become lighter. How freeing it was to let those deep-seeded issues off my chest! This feeling was well worth the knots I had in my stomach when I hesitantly dialed their number just moments before. In a way, I felt liberated. I had been true to myself by speaking what was on my mind.

I know it is important to be considerate of other people’s feelings and there are limits to freedom of speech, but when it comes to everyday situations like confronting a family member, or even voicing a complaint to a waiter about receiving a meal ice-cold; why are others constantly shushing me? People are always repeating the same old adages; “Just bite your tongue Jess” and “Don’t rock the boat”. Why not? What was I so afraid of? Getting my meal spit on by a disgruntled waiter because I said it was chilly? Having my in-laws hate me for being honest? Well, I have recently decided that I am willing to take that risk if inner peace is the end result!

I hope the people in my life start speaking their minds no matter how hard it may be for me to hear at times. Perhaps this sort of frankness will lead to healthier relationships and thus healthier people! Of course, my in-laws have yet to bring up my infamous voice messages, although I secretly wish they would. If they did, I would practice my belief that I have shared with you today. I would simply say, “Yes, that’s how I felt when I left those messages, but maybe I’ll feel differently in the future”. We’ll see what happens with my in-laws, but for now, I plan to say what is on my mind! This I believe.

3rd Grade Teacher

Plano, Texas