“Without really knowing what was happening, I said something bad today about a person I secretly resented. When it occurred to me that my remark could come back to hurt me, I had a moment of panic,” an AA member said. “With little reflection, however, I realized that the more serious problem was the dishonesty that caused me to belittle somebody behind hie back!”
We are growing up when we come to see that gossip feeds on our own insecurity and self-deception. When we are unwilling to part company with gossip, we devise subtle ways to keep it in our lives. We can gossip by steering the conversation to a topic that is likely to bring revealing comments. We also gossip by reveling in lurid accounts of others’ sins and failings. We should even ask ourselves if we are gossiping when we “discuss” another member who is not living up to our ideas of true Twelve Step standards. This is often prefaced by the remark, “I don’t want to take Joe’s inventory, but…..”
We cannot live freely and happily if we practice gossip in any form. The practice may be hidden, but it leaves us with guilt, fear, and shame. We cannot gossip and be completely trustworthy and reliable.
I will truly mind my own business today. Forgiving myself for past excursions into gossip, I will say nothing about others behind their backs. If somebody has gossip to share, I will politely move to another topic.
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