Worthless. Lonely. Inadequate. Angry. Depression. Anxiety. Uncomfortable. Nervous. Irritable. Unlovable. Sad. Reactive. Impulsive. Overwhelmed. Self-conscious. Insecure. Embarrassed. Miserable. Disgusted. Jealous. Bitter.
I have heard, read, and/or even used the words above (and then some) to describe self (my, your, someone else’s) – Not just emotions – but self over the past week. It is a wonder how words – emotions, if you will, can come to define a person. Words hold so much power. I remember hearing, before I had my first child: we mold our children by the words of our mouths. I vowed at that moment to be extra careful with the words I used surrounding my child. I would remain positive, strength based, not wanting to expose her to the dark side of living too soon. There’s always school.
I was strategic in this matter. Rather than the dreaded, terrible twos. We celebrated the terrific twos. No, she wasn’t strong willed, it has such a negative connotation, she was independent, full of spirit, a problem solver – nothing wrong with that. In fact, these are admirable traits. I didn’t scold her for not listening. I explained my reasoning. We talked about why she had to hold my hand in the parking lot, or ride in the cart. It hurt my feelings sometimes when she was still mad at me. But, I allowed her that space to feel.
Hadn’t I grown up being told, I was strong willed, no one would put up with me, stop wearing my heart on my sleeve… To make me feel as though who I am is not who I should be… Talk about existential crisis!
FACT: We do mold others by our words.
MYTH: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
Once words are out there, they cannot be reversed. Sure, we can apologize for saying this or that, but you can’t take back your words. You may forget what you said in the heat of the moment. And what of the victim of the verbal attack, who has to live with the memory of the words? Will they internalize the words? What will be the effect? Especially in our anger, we must be slow to speak. Then, perhaps, we won’t say things we soon regret.
As I hang in the balance between love and loss, lately I have been examining everything – past and present. The glance at the past admittedly has my patience lacking. I have to be careful not to speak everything that wants to fly out of my mouth. The emotions associated with the past, painful. I thought I was over them. But, how can I remember any piece of the past, without the words… And to fully recover, I must work through those as well. I am not what others think of me. I am not the names they have called me. I already found my worth. These are now just memories to just recognize, forgive, and move on. But, it is not really happening that way!
I have to remind myself that the past is behind me. What keeps me from being bitter, what keeps me from being angry is a funny little thing called COMPASSION. To have true compassion on those whom hurt you, is a work in process for me. I have to focus not on my pain, and remember: hurt people hurt people. They are indeed hurting. How can I not have compassion? Though I do not have to allow them into my life, more than necessary, I pray for them. Bless those that curse you.
As for me… I’m not perfect. I try to use words that are encouraging, uplifting, edifying… Life and death are in the power of the tongue. Also, blessings and curses cannot come out of the same mouth. Sometimes, I fail. I pray for the Lord to bridle my tongue! I don’t want my words to bring death into myself or others. I want my words to speak life.
Image borrowed from Google: steemit.com