Monday, June 3, 2013

sticks & stones won't break my bones, but words [almost always] will hurt me.

(unrelated picture, but such a pretty nest with eggs)

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up others according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." 
-Ephesians 4:29

Whoever said "sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me" lied. 
There's a biological and chemical healing process our bodies undergo in times of injury and damage.
Unlike our physical body, our minds don't have such a stream-lined system to recuperate from hurt. 

I've received many a compliment over the years. On the converse, the amount of hurtful words match.
I can generalize the kind words said.
But the ill-natured ones I know word for word.

"Amber is a slut."
"Who's the white girl with the black brother? Not me." 
"It's fine, you didn't mean that much to me anyway." 
"Go on back to mommy and daddy, they'll fix this won't they." 
"You don't know what it means to struggle."
"I'm smarter than you, that's a fact. You'll never be good enough for me."
"Sure you'd talk about me, just because you're my best friend doesn't mean I should trust you."

Oh how they manage to suck the air from my lungs even all these years later.
And yet, I know I've spoke words just as, if not more, hurtful than these. 
Not until lately have I become aware of my word using tendencies...
In that, I use them as though they're pitchforks slowly chipping away at others.
But I want them to serve as bricks, slowly coming together to build up a foundation, then structure.

I know I've got to use my words for good. And not for ugly (or evil)... 
So what does that look like?
Who do I need to start speaking life-giving words to? 
The answer is simple (yet overwhelmingly) everyone

I do better at overwhelming tasks when I stop with broad strokes and pinpoint specific details. 

To Jason: words of adoration and support reminding him of his importance and significance in my life. 
To co-workers: through recognition of their hard work and gratitude for their dedication to the company.
To my dear friends: encouragement and support of their growth, prayer over their lives and families. 
To strangers: interested, honest conversation that ends with a smile and a (genuine) nice to meet you.
To fellow bloggers: friendly, unhurried comments that are well-thought out and engaging.

 Not only that, I need to be kind to myself
I need to use positive words that encourage my creativity and my soul.
I need to give my heart somewhere happy -and not hostile or toxic- to live, love and function. 

"For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." 
-Matthew 12:34

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