"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me."
I looked up the history of this quote. It was penned to help children who were being called hurtful names. I like the sentiment. We should never believe hurtful things that others may say about us. However, I have to disagree that, "words can never hurt me".
Words do hurt us.
Words can hurt your spirit and the pain can radiate down to your gut and make you feel physically ill.
Let me tell you a story:
The other day a negative comment was made about my new journal. When I heard the comment the words cut deep. It made me feel terrible and I immediately kept replaying the comment over and over in my mind. It wasn't meant to cause harm, but it did. My journal is special to me as God gave me the ability to create it and send it out into the world. I have huge plans for it and more projects that are similar to it. My first trial run did great but I am not fully satisfied with it yet. I want it to be more. I have always had plans to take the journal to the next level and I am so close to revealing the next phase of my journal.
Here are the positives of my journal thus far:
-I turned profit within three weeks of releasing the journal
-I received only positive feedback from customers
-I was able to bless a few people who were struggling in a difficult season
-I found a company to take them to the next level
This all sounds positive right? For the record I am not bragging at ALL but simply making a point...
It is positive.
I couldn't have asked for a better first-run for my very first big project. Those words cut deep though and made me go blind to all the positive. It was as if all my hard work was likened to a third-grade school project. After I let it mull over in my mind a few thousand times, as I tend to negatively do, I decided I needed to take a step back and realize that what someone says CAN hurt me and make me upset but it doesn't mean that I am not valuable.
Words CAN hurt and make you upset but that doesn't mean you are not valuable. Or that what you accomplished was not valuable. Don't let the negative words override all the positive aspects of you and your accomplishments.
I am a word person. My love language is "Words of Affirmation". I often take this too far and feed into the insecurity that I am only valuable if and when someone affirms me. Are there any fellow Enneagram 2's out there?
Proverbs 15:4 says, "A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit."
Proverbs 16:24 says, "Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones."
Although it is easy to get upset when someone hurts us with their words, we must accept the fact that we have hurt others with our words as well.
I have hurt others with my words. We all have hurt others with our words if we are being honest with ourselves.
It is easy to spew words without actually thinking about what you're saying.
There are times when I have said something and immediately regretted it. I may be a writer but I can get my words all mixed up and use them for harm instead of good.
Our words can hurt others so deeply that they completely abandon their dreams or they feel foolish for even trying to be themselves. I never want to be a person who uses their words to harm. Or be the reason that someone is holding themselves back from living their life.
Of course we will meet people who are so angry with themselves that they simply want to hurt others. We must realize that what they are going through has nothing to do with us. My therapist calls this "projecting". When we are triggered by a negative emotion or experience we tend to project our hurt and insecurities on others. I know that there will be times when a person will just spew words to hurt because they are hurting. It happens. We have all done it once or twice in the heat of the moment. It doesn't make it excusable but when backed into a corner we all will fight back in some way.
Use your words to encourage and uplift others. You never know what a person needs to hear especially if they are in the midst of a difficult season.
Be a blessing to others with your words, friends!