When spoken words hurt, it feels like the most painful thing in the world. I would rather have broken bones. I would rather have an open wound. Words, it seems, can be more painful than bullets or arrows. And sometimes, they rain down upon me like a shower of arrows - in case you have been watching the kung-fu panda series 😃
Some of these words have hurt me, when they were directed at me from people I look up to...
“He won’t be able to do it. Give it to someone else."
“I’m not sure if I can trust him."
“You don’t understand me."
“You don’t care about me."
“Oh him, he is not ready."
“You are so selfish."
They cut like knives. Sometimes the wound might take months and years to heal. Yes, it’s true, my brain is a 3 pound, walnut shaped, soft, grey, custard like organ. It gets hurt. Words create an electrical storm inside it.
Now I’m a little older 😃. Words still hurt me, but the frequency is much much lower.
I am much more careful about the words I use than ever before. But yet sometimes I let out some sharp ones. Mostly it happens unknowingly. Just recently I said something that hurt a dear young friend of mine. It was not directed at them. It was not said in malice. But it hurt them. Words don’t carry a disclaimer saying ’this was not my intention’. They just hurt! I apologised, my friend graciously forgave me. But I know from experience that the hurt stays.
I analysed myself. I thought what if someone I look up to, had that effect on me? What if it had been me. Would I have been hurt?
Then it hit me. I find I am constantly scared of being hurt by the words of people I love. It’s tiring and it keeps me small.
I was surprised by it’s simplicity. To prevent fractures, I need to make my bones stronger by exercising often. To prevent illness, I need to keep my body well fortified by eating good food a the right times. To prevent financial loss, I need to limit my expenses and keep deliver great value. To prevent losing a relationship, I need to keep in touch and keep my ego in check.
To prevent feeling hurt often, I need to build my emotional reservoir by keeping my thoughts pure and focussed. I need to be willing to use my intelligence to process words and feedback. I need to be ready to learn. I need to be willing to change. I need to create a body of work in aspects of my life that are important to me. So simple!
Then, like the Zen monk story goes, when someone presents me with a gift, I can choose whether to accept it or not.
When someone showers words upon me, I can choose whether to believe them or not, and how to respond!