A NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION UPDATE
No, I'm not talking about J. Golden Kimball when I speak of "The Cussing Mormon" I am talking about...me. Just to be on the up and up let me go ahead and state that I don't mean "Mormon cussing" like; oh my heck, gosh dang it, or fetch. I'm talking full on shameful swearing like a sailor. For just in case my Mama is reading this, let me go on the record as saying this hot mouth of mine is not something I picked up at home. I think between my parents combined I have probably heard three swear words (I won't say which parent tips the scale).
Since I'm confessing I'll start at the beginning of my swearing-saga. I said my first swear word in 7th grade. Our teacher left the classroom and this girl (who is now a grown woman and has since sent me a friend request on Facebook) began telling me how nappy she thought my hair was and how I needed a perm. FYI: When white people are talking about perms they usually mean making their hair curly, while when black people refer to perms we mean making our hair straight. Most of the black girls at my school had perms/relaxers. A relaxer is a permanent chemical solution that straightens or relaxes the curl of naturally curly hair. Anyway my parents chose to keep my kinky coif intact and some of my classmates including the aforementioned girl thought that this was a reason for ridicule.
Then as a grown woman with grown people's trials and tribulations, Pandora's box was reopened and well...I found colorful language a hard habit to break. If you tuned into our New Year's episode of Sistas in Zion Radio you know that I made it a new year's resolution to stop swearing. I wish I could say that this is my first go at it, but *sigh* it is not. I've been trying for a while now and what actually made me want to stop being profane in the membrane is this experience which I am sooo embarrassed to be sharing with y'all, but will because at my swearers anonymous meetings they say sharing is caring, and a big part of recovery. So here goes.
|A child of God|
A flight attendant thought I had an electronic device turned on and I didn't, but kept coming to my seat to ask me turn the already-switched-off item off. After having my device checked several times and plenty of snide comments I had enough and I went off. Now when I say off I mean off, I think I called this woman everything, but a child of God. She was snapping, I was snapping and she eventually told me she would have the police waiting for me when I got off the flight.
This all happened within the first 10 minutes of a 3 hour flight, so I went to sleep, she went about her business and we didn't say a word to each other for the next 2 hours and 50 minutes. After the plane landed as I made my way to the exit a woman put her hand on my shoulder and stopped me. She said, "excuse me are you Mormon?" My mouth fell open, I started hyperventilating and wishing I had paid attention when the flight attendant was telling us how to apply the oxygen mask and open the emergency exits. As my very loud swear-filled exchange with the flight attendant replayed in my mind I said, "Actually I'm Catholic." Just kidding, I didn't say that. Don't worry my Catholic friends I wouldn't make another religion claim me or my bad behavior. To my utmost despair, I replied, "Yes."
|Am I a Mormon?|
It turned out the woman and her husband had been visiting Utah for the first time and when they saw another black person get on the plane in SLC they wondered if maybe I was LDS too, as chance would have it we were all heading home to the same city and knew some of the same LDS folks there too. Now this is the part where God testifies to me that he is real...they didn't even hear my profanity-laced tongue lashing. I kept waiting for them to saying something about it and they never did, they just kept making pleasant conversation. We said nice to meet you and good bye and headed off in our separate directions. Then I hear, "M'am can we talk to you." At this point not only had Jesus taken the wheel, but I think he was also doing the talking. I had a pleasant conversation with the officers after which they apologized for my unpleasant flight experience...po po say what?!?
So that's how I ended up on this journey of how to be a cuss free me. I've gotten everything from encouragement; my nieces, nephews and siblings counting how many days (or more often hours) I can go without swearing, to people asking me if I really think I'm going to go to hell for swearing. To that I say this, I don't know what God's speech barometer is set at. I don't know which words are "ok" and which one's will send you to hell in a hand basket. I just know this; nothing about my foul language brought me closer to Christ, no swear word I've ever used portrays that I am a child of God and that I believe that you are a child of God too and I will never forget that sickening feeling I felt when that woman asked me "are you Mormon?" For me, being a WITNESS of GOD at ALL times and in ALL things and in ALL places, means bye, bye Miss Potty-Mouth.
So this year I again added stop swearing to my list of new year resolutions. We asked SiZ Radio listeners to call and write in with tips for keeping resolutions this year. A tip that we received on that episode and has shaped the entire way I am approaching my resolutions this year came from Sista Kimberlee St. Clair. She said to take your resolutions in small doses such as a week at a time and then reward yourself for keeping your resolution for that small period of time. Her advice really stuck with me and so as I thought about my goals for this year I decided that what I really wanted to form were good habits. There's this myth out there that it takes 21 days to form a habit, whether it's true or not 21 days seemed like a good dose for me and my goals. I have all my resolutions written down and I work on one for 21 days, if I make it then I start the next one, if not I spend some more time on that goal.
For me, focusing on one thing at a time has been FANTASTIC, I wish I would have gotten this tip sooner! On January 21st I reached my 21 day milestone of not swearing and I rewarded myself with some alone time with a good book! Then on January 22nd I started my second goal, which is a health and exercise goal, I'm now doing that and still keeping up on not cussing people out. It's only been a little over 30 days since the new year began, but I have to say it feels great to not have failed half of my goals already. In the past that's how I've felt, I would start out with a million resolutions and feel like I didn't accomplished any of them. So now I've only started two of them, but so far I've experienced success by focusing on my resolutions in small doses and only adding another to my plate when I've made substantial progress on the ones before me. So thanks Kimberlee, and brothas and sistas I know I've got 330 more days to go, but I'm feeling pretty good right now, so feel free to cut me off in traffic!
How are your New Year's Resolutions going? Any tips for putting the kibosh on cussing?
Jesus Loves Me This I Know,