I was drawn to the ahimsa group, since I knew from my reading that my mouthy ways were going to have to go. I have, time and time again, verbally lashed out at my mom, husband, and recently my little son. Harsh words are something that I remember coming naturally to me since adolescence. As an adult, I have definitely tamed this tendency in public, professionally, with acquaintances and even with close friends. I am known for being a very nice, reasonable person, excellent communicator and mediator. I can see issues from both sides and, while I like a good debate, I can word things well without attacking the person I am in a discussion with.
Now those few mentioned people, who I am extremely close with, have had to endure the experience of my mouth in a much more demeaning, inappropriate, cunning way. The ones I love the absolute most may find me coiled like a snake, ready to hiss, at the slightest provocation. I am usually good about apologizing later, and have promised them and myself that I would be better about this, but I seem to fall back, at least occasionally, into this mean-spirited, belittling way. My mom has definitely gotten the worst of it and I carry a lot of guilt for that. We have a really good relationship sometimes, and are ultimately very close, but I have hurt her feelings and ruined her days more times than I would want to count. Needless to say, I am not proud of this part of myself.
My husband, Kevin, and I have pretty good communication, and we have seen a counselor, Howie, here and there. Our son, Kaiden, met Howie one time, when he actually had to sit in a session with us because of a last-minute childcare issue. Kaiden, who has witnessed our bickering, on occasion, one time told us to, “Go see Howie.” We stopped, and laughed, and asked him to elaborate. “Howie is where you go when you want to be better persons,” our astute 5-year-old told us; from the mouths of babes. In any event, my marriage is of great value to me, as is modeling a good relationship for our child, and I have no desire to ruin it with yucky comments and fighting, or to belittle my husband whom I adore, and appreciate, beyond belief.
Kaiden seems somewhat indifferent to my yelling, even if it is at him. I suppose this is developmental, since he is simply taking it all in, at this point. He is spared, because he is so young and sweet and adorable. He gets the most of my affection and loving, kind words on a daily basis. As he grows, I really do not want for my relationship with him to go this way, or for him to learn that this is how he should speak to anyone. Knowing that he has learned some of this is a sad truth and he is a really good reason to bring it into focus. We are considering having another child, and I have somewhat of a hang-up about the possibility of having a girl and repeating the pattern with her.
I have noticed that this type of communication has done a dis-service to myself, because they (my mom and Kevin, especially if we are all together) sometimes expect me to be mean, so even if I’m not being hostile, I may be misinterpreted. I’ve also inadvertently taught my husband this type of talk and while he has not mastered it to my level, he has a more bitter tongue than he did before.
Halt! I have to turn this around. I want a happy, peaceful home where everyone feels loved and accepted, especially by me!! So, when it was time to choose a Yama on which to focus, while I was kind of in the mood to clean out my basement, I knew that Ahimsa was the place for me to be.