Friday, December 4, 2009

The Ugliness of Gossip

Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you.
A Spanish Proverb
Today, I received an email. It was intended for a family member, but my email address was put on it instead. The person who sent it to me sends me emails all the time, so I thought nothing of opening it. The email was filled with gossip about Mark and I; our business and our beliefs which just happen to be different than the author of the email. In the letter, our family member was told how the author had talked to other family members about us and how disappointed and sad they all are that we have the life and beliefs we have. She went on to warn this individual to not read my blog, because of our 'new age' ideas. The impression she left with this family member and others is that we are demons that smile a lot.

After she sent that email, she sent me another email telling me how sorry she was! She told me she was soooo sorry for sending me the letter and asked me to forgive her.

As you can imagine, I was pretty hurt, since to my face, this person seems like a very nice lady. So, once I got past the shock, I began trying to understand and find better feeling thoughts than the hurt ones. Here's what I came up with. . .

The author of the email is a staunch Christian lady who views anyone who does not believe the way she does as wrong. It's what she knows. It's ALL she knows and her perception of what we represent really scares her. We have purposely not told her too much about our beliefs out of respect for her and her beliefs. But we have answered any questions she asked. We try to keep the answers short and to the point due to our respect for her beliefs. The author is also older and very set in her ways. She loves to talk to people and naturally wants to have interesting stuff to talk about. And because she is such a devoted Christian, she feels she must explain our business to others in order to request prayer for our souls. By the time I was finished trying to put myself in her shoes, I could laugh about the whole situation.

It occurs to me that if she had not accidentally sent the email to me, she would have sent it to the family member and thought nothing more of the hurtful gossip it was filled with.

I'm glad we had this experience, for it shows just how dreadful gossip can be. Even well meaning requests for prayer can turn into vicious, hurtful gossip. I've made it a rule of mine never to say anything behind someones back that I would not tell them directly to their face. Or better yet, never say anything about someone that would bring hurt or shame to them. The best rule is probably not to ever repeat anyone else's business to anyone else. After all, it's not my place to pass around information about someone. If they want people to know about their life, they will tell them themselves.

Of course I forgive this woman for what she did. I know who she is and accept her as the frightened person she is. My hope is that she can learn a valuable lesson from this experience too. Perhaps next time she is tempted to gossip, she will remember how it felt to be caught.

On a happier note: By popular demand, I will start sharing some of the recipes we try and and like. Yesterday's recipe is below.


2 Onions, diced
2 Celery, diced
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1/4 C Fresh Parsley, chopped
5 C Water
1 1/2 C Split Peas
4 Carrots, diced
1/2 Tsp Marjoram
1/2 Tsp Basil
2 Bay Leaves

1. Saute onions, celery, garlic, and parsley in a very small amount of vegetable broth

2. Add water, peas, carrots, marjoram, basil, and bay leaves

3. Simmer 1 1/2 hours. Add more water as needed.

4. Remove bay leaves and blend in a blender until smooth.

Serve with a nice crusty whole wheat bread. Enjoy! Let me know what you think.


  1. Wonderful story, Pat. Great reminder of the forgiveness and compassion that comes from the Source...I am so proud of you!


  2. Hi Pat; Those wacky Christians. This is the first time I've had to catch up on e mails. I always look forward to yours. You hit the nail on the head, you just have to laugh. People who gossip about other's must be so unhappy in there life that they have to gossip so they can feel better about themselfs. How sad is that? Anyway we miss you. Mike & Judy

  3. Thx for the recipe Pat! I have been eating really healthy. Lots of steam broccoli, oatmeal,and salads.
    I like fresh herbs on my salad- cilantro, mint basil- I can make great salad-
    My favorite has avocados, walnuts, cucumbers, red onion, red cabbage, carrots, romaine lettuce homemade croutons(toasted wheat or spelt bread with a little olive oil and some dried basil and garlic or onion powder)

  4. "Demons that smile alot"...I laughed and laughed, then my boyfriend said it's better to smile like a demon then to scoul like a christian. I laughed some more. Thanks for the giggle.


  5. Wow Pat... shaking my head. I Love your articulation of it AND your way of dealing with it. I've had several of these types of gossip experiences with my "Christian" past...very painful at the time! It seemed the healthier I got, the more this type of fear would be projected upon me. and yes.. in the end, laughter is what is left. It's clear how afraid that construct is.. sooo SAD really and quite silly!
    You're such a HEART dear Pat. Congrats on affecting these people with your Goldeness if you get what i mean. :)Love, Madison