Some years ago I hosted a party at my house, and as I was in the kitchen refreshing an appetizer platter I happened to overhear one of the guests on a phone call in the next room. I was stunned to hear this woman speak unkindly about my family member, who I knew considered her one of her best and dearest friends.
I wondered whether to tell my family member what I’d overheard, but my spirit practically shouted at me, “NO! Let it be.” So I kept quiet.
One week later, the woman I’d overheard on the phone was killed in a tragic car accident. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thanked God that I never spoke of what I heard in the kitchen that day. I never marred that friendship or ruined the sweet memories my family member has of her friend. I am so deeply grateful for the grace that kept me quiet.
I used to get annoyed if someone interrupted me while I was talking, but I’ve come to see those breaks as opportunities to step back for a moment and consider what I’m saying. Sometimes the pause helps me recognize that I’m not speaking the kind of words I want to. When someone cuts me off, I can re-shape my thoughts—or maybe even drop the subject. I’ve often regretted words I blurted out in haste, but I rarely regret thinking before I talk.
I’ve learned the value of speaking less and listening more in my business, too. Often my clients will call for advice, and in the process of explaining and talking through an issue they figure out exactly what they need to do. Beautiful.
How about you? Have you ever been grateful, like me, for something you didn’t say?
May we all have opportunities in the days ahead to listen well, and share words that are good and right.
Photo: Benalmadena Butterfly Park
About Eliza Cross
Eliza Cross is the author of 16 books, including Small Bites, 101 Things To Do With Bacon, and BERRIES. She enjoys sharing ideas to simplify cooking, gardening, and home projects. She is also the owner of Cross Media, Inc. and founder of the BENSA Bacon Lovers Society.
13 thoughts on “So Grateful for the Words I Didn’t Speak”
I saw this post in my inbox and when I read it I got goose bumps all over. Yes, I’ve been blessed with moments like these, and I’m so thankful for them too. What a fabulous post, Eliza. Hi from NH. *waves*
I’m so glad this resonated with you, sweet Sue. 🙂 Hugs from Colorado! xoxo
I’m the interrupter! I try hard not to, but still hear myself butting in! But thanks for these thoughts – I need to listen more and talk less. x
We all do it, Annie! I want to listen more and talk less, too. xoxo
Awesome thoughts to share – thank you! Yes I have in the last ten years or so been trying to do everything mindfully – eating, talking, walking. You worded it perfectly.
What a wonderful practice you’ve enjoyed for ten years, Gillian. I’m working on it! 🙂 xo
Thank you, THANK YOU, for those words of wisdom! WOW – a new and wise way to accept those interruptions that drive me crazy – yes, a better way!
Blessings to you, too, Carolyn, and thank you so much for letting me know you enjoyed this. xoxo
Beautiful. This really spoke to me. Thank you.
I’m so glad, Lisa. Sending hugs your way. xoxo
This is a lovely post, Eliza – thank you for sharing. Grace is one of the best qualities to aspire to, and holding back seems to be one of the paths toward it. Thank you for sharing such a poignant example. Happy Labour Day 🙂
What a profound observation – holding back as a path to grace. Thank you so much for sharing that beautiful thought, Julie. xoxo
This is such a great post and a great reminder. I am so grateful for the words I never say in life and parenting. I hear the words that so many parents say to their kids that often break my heart and I know they damage the spirit of the child.