on giving up gossip


As I mentioned here, I decided to give up gossip for Lent. Some find this weird since I'm not even religious, but I am doing it in the spirit of self-improvement. I used to give things up for Lent when I was younger and didn't have a choice. I always tried to give up things like cleaning my room, but would eventually decide to give up things like chocolate or french fries instead. And while giving something up for Lent is a religious exercise, I think there's a great deal of value in using a set period of time to try to break or develop a new habit.

Inspired by the lovely Jessica of lovepuppy, I decided to remove gossip from my life for 40 days. That means no perezhilton (I would link, but in the spirit of giving up gossip, it's best that I don't open the site), no gofugyourself, no "did you hear?" whispers.

I like gossip. I have always said that celebrity gossip is like my porn, my dirty secret. I like being in the know. I like being the person that folks can go to when they're wondering what the story is with so-and-so.

But, it's the gossip in my personal life that's really gotten me down. It's when the bad side, the mean side of me comes out that I just eat up the gossip. I've realized that it's also when the insecure side of me comes out. And, that's not good. I have found that whenever I gossip, afterward, I feel a bit empty inside and don't really like the person that I am capable of being. When I'm doing the gossiping, I feel great, alive, but afterward, it's no good.

So, I'm stopping. No more until Easter. It's been tough, but I haven't slipped up once on the celebrity stuff. I've even been averting my eyes at the grocery store check-out lines. I can't say that I've been as good on the personal stuff. I'm still trying to draw the line between gossip and just finding out about how other people are/what they're up to. I think the line stands at judgment, what kind of judgment I attach to the information.

It's a process, a transition, but I'm hoping to come out of all of this a better person, a person who doesn't need to talk about others in order to make herself feel better. A person who can live her life with her own standards instead of feeling the need to compare herself to others.

And you know what? So far, it's been a whole lot easier than I thought it would be.

Photo credit: kamshots