Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me.
We’ve all heard that phrase and for decades I believed it until I took a good look at some of the things that have happened to me and those around me and realized, words DO hurt.
In high school I was bullied by a couple of girls. I knew what they were doing and I wasn’t about to let them get the best of me. I held my ground which I think ticked them off even more. I didn’t fight back; I just ignored them and did what I wanted. Intelligently and emotionally I knew their game however looking back it really did affect me. It started to wear down my self confidence without consciously being aware of it. I didn’t try to be my best in sports as I had in the past. It definitely changed me even though on the outside I appeared to be the same person.
Words really do hurt.
There have been friends and relatives throughout my life who also recall times when someone has said mean things to them. It obviously still affects them because they bring it up as if it happened yesterday. Of course now with my expanded view of life I advise them to forgive and forget. You need to get over it and move on. You’re not the same person you were then. You’ve grown past all that.
Words don’t hurt me anymore because as I’ve matured I’ve become even more emotionally confident about who I am. If someone was to say something bad about me I know it’s only a reflection of their own insecurities and lack of maturity and compassion for others. The positive lesson I learned out of my experience is that I decided I was never going to let someone stop me from being who I am.
Unfortunately the group cutting words hurt the most is our young. They don’t have that broader view of life to understand the complexities of how humans work. No matter how much I explain this to my teenage daughter, even though she comprehends and understands it, she can get emotionally upset about the whole drama and emotional insecurities of her classmates. I guess it’s just the experiences we all have to go through to finally come into our own Beingness.
Sticks and stones can physically harm us but the scars heal unlike the emotional scars from cutting words which can linger an entire life time. Forgiveness is the greatest love of all. Acknowledge the event, accept it, learn from it and then move on. It’s over.