Gossip as Emotional Poison

by Rev. Amari Magdalena

By Rev. Amari Magdalena

The power of our words is immeasurable.  We are spell casting much of the time in our negative words and thoughts towards others.  Perhaps it is not our intention to harm someone; yet we surely do when we say something judgmental or false about someone to another person.

“Gossip is when you have a malice of intent or mindless, third-party conversation to someone about someone, something you haven’t said to that someone.”  Iyanla Vanzant

In the 1950’s when many women stayed home and experienced daily coffee klatches, gossip was rampant.  The psst, psst, psst about someone not in favor with the group spread through the group. Often the gossip was then shared with contingent groups.  High school, with it’s various groups, was often rift with gossip.  Many untruths and partial truths impacted a life to the detriment of the victim’s overall sense of self-worth and esteem.  Gossip was a form of bullying.  The work place, became yet another place for spreading emotional poison around the water cooler.  Add gossip columns of yesterday and today’s entertainment obsessional whispers and we have a whole network of damage being done daily.

“People gossip.  People are insecure, so they talk about other people so that they won’t be talked about.  They point out flaws in other people to make them feel good about themselves.” Blake Lively.

Probably none of us, in truth, are completely free of guilt with gossip, past or present. Yet as we understand the very real power of our word, it becomes more important to arrest that tendency.  Those who aspire to spiritual evolution and consciousness and gossip, are self-sabotaging themselves by failure to surrender an old dysfunctional behavior.  Awareness of the habit becomes imperative in expurgating it.

“How would your life be different if you walked away from gossip and verbal defamation?  Let today be the day you speak only the good you know of other people and encourage others to do the same.” Steve Maraboli

At times, we may want to practice with a trusted friend something that we need or want to say to another person.  If we are clear with that person our intent and equally committed to following up that conversation with the person we need to speak with, it may be harmless.

“It’s not technically gossip if you start your sentence with “I’m really concerned about __________,” (fill in the name of the person you’re not gossiping about).”  Brian P. Cleary

In shamanism, we have another tool.  I believe it to be even more powerful in addressing an issue with another in a harmless way: shamanic journeying.  We can choose to journey with our totem, with a stated intention to meet with the other person’s totem, to resolve a presented issue.  A spiritual meeting of this nature is many times more impactful than an ego-driven material world meeting. Insights acquired on the journey can help us see the core issue and find resolution.  We often discover that the conflict finds solution in ordinary reality without further discussion or perhaps we find better words to use when a physical world meeting takes place.

“Words have no wings but they can fly a thousand miles.”  Korean Proverb

Ultimately, when we surrender gossip as a communication means, we can have much more engaging conversations which present think-tank-like excitement about making positive changes in our communities.  In the world we are faced with today, finding great ideas and solutions in groups can serve as catalysts for important changes and the preservation of humanity and the planet.

“Great minds discuss ideas.  Average minds discuss events. Small minds, discuss people.” Eleanor Roosevelt