Have you ever bitten your tongue or cut you nose off to spite your face? One is a metaphor for keeping your mouth shut when you want to say something and the other is a metaphor for doing something that doesn’t help your situation but makes it worse.
Sometimes you need to keep your mouth shut. You should know those times but there are times when you need to speak up and you should know those times as well. How many times do we get that backwards? Sometimes you need to shut your mouth and jump out of the emotion long enough to use your guts, your head, and your common sense before opening your mouth and speaking up. It’s always a good idea to cool down, find love or understand somewhere inside of you and lead with that. It’s not always our words but how we use and deliver them that determines the outcome.
What about the times when you poison yourself, so to speak, when you keep making choices that bite you in your rear because these choices were made in the heat of sexual or violet or angry passion? What about the times when you don’t want to face your own responsibility for doing exactly what you know is going to give you nothing but grief in the long run? That being said, if some people didn’t open their mouths when they knew they would be in danger or ridiculed or in prison some social changes would not have taken place. Some laws would not have been changed or revised. Progress would not have been made.
So we come to the word discretion and the word discernment. Use your powers of discretion and discernment when making choices. The only other choice is to let your passions and your ignorance run your life. In those cases you usually take others down with you and you don’t get what you thought you wanted in the end. Some nooses are not quite so hard to slip out of or to tolerate while you rectify, as best you can, the choice that you made, while others will surely suck the life out of you. Try not to be the snake that bit his own tongue and poisoned himself.
I watched the movie “Anna Karenina” the one made for TV in 1985 with Jacqueline Bisset and Christopher Reeve. (So as to not to confuse with other versions you may have seen.) The tragedy of that movie in a nut shell was that Anna allowed the thinking and attitude about women, especially the aristocrats, of that time period – 19th century Russia in this case- consume her with guilt about all her “sins” until it drove her crazy and she threw herself under the train. Her head was full of erroneous thoughts, lies she told herself that all began with, in my opinion, thoughts that she must be punished for breaking the moral code and all for having desired to be with a man who loved her rather than one who thought of her as a trophy wife that was there to make him look good. Many things could be said about this movie depending upon where you are in your understanding of things including your own beliefs about the shoulds and oughts in your path. We all could probably come up with some different ideas and beliefs and thoughts about this version of the story of Anna.
In the long run, I think the most important gem this story has to offer is how we get so caught up in self-condemnation that we literally kill ourselves. That’s love turned inside out or backwards. Life is nothing but choices that bring consequences we are pleased with and those with which we are not pleased. How many have driven themselves mad or to self medicating or self-destruction because they condemned themselves based upon what others believed or what they think was believed about them because of their choices or some other reason?
When you reach that place of not loving yourself for whatever reason, you immediately start on the path of self destruction. You may gamble too much, spend too much, eat too much, risk too much, drink too much, abuse drugs,work too much, drive yourself too much, do unhealthy things, smoke, break laws, and/or project onto others your own pain and anger and do harm to others. Any o.f these will make your life miserable and even kill you. I invite you to consider not being an Anna. Don’t get it inside out and waste your life.