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Spinach in Your Teeth

You have a gorgeous smile.. and you have spinach in your teeth.

Do you have people in your life who would tell you that, or do your listeners furtively swipe their own teeth with their own tongues as if that does you any good?

They say the fish is the last to see the water. By virtue of being human, we all have spinach in our teeth – repugnant traits in our lives in need of prompt attention. They may be default attitudes or actions (including words). Left unattended, they impede personal growth and distance us from others. Moreover, if we are of age, we really are the most suitable candidate to take care of the issue, regardless of how it got there.

Some of us are so difficult to correct that we bite people’s heads off when informed of spinach in the teeth, whether it’s clanking our spoon against our bowl or a gossiping habit. Others of us come up with excuses that sound ridiculous. Have you ever heard an acceptable excuse for spinach in the teeth?  One that makes you say, “Oh, okay, that makes sense then that you’ve had it there all day.”

Here are some thoughts on practical things we can do today to give prompt attention to our spinach.

  1. Meditate on this concept of spinach in your teeth. We are human. Spinach happens at one point or another. You are not the one exempt person on earth. Admit your humanity, not as a fault but as a fact.
  2. Invite a person you trust to point out your spinach. Invite 2 or 3 people to do so. Don’t put them on the spot. Ask them to take a few days and think of specific areas to point out. When they happen, these difficult conversations don’t need to take a long time. Keep them short and sweet.
  3. Sometimes the fish is the last to see the water. We may truly have no idea what our trusted friend is talking about as it has become such an integral part of us. Allow them to point out as, or shortly after you exhibit the behavior. Establish a code so they can point it out when it happens if you are in public. Indeed, have them say, “Spinach!”
  4. When they take the time to do so, don’t argue with them or attempt to justify yourself. Don’t ask for a million examples.  Make a point to just say “Thank you.”
  5. If you are entrusted with this grave responsibility by a friend, remember they have placed their heart into your hands. Be gentle with it.  Pinpoint what needs to be seen and let them be.
  6. If someone points out your spinach, that is not automatically your opportunity to point out their spinach. Don’t become the professional Spinach Pointer Outer. If you begin to take delight in doing so, you may have the wrong motive.
  7. Make this a chance to remove any planks in your eye before you point out the speck in your brother’s.
  8. While spinach takes but a minute to remove, our real life issues usually take us a while to eradicate. Give the person grace. Much grace.