We all remember the phrase from childhood, “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me,” well, there are a few variations of that, but it’s meaning, or intention, that words can’t hurt is false. Words, when used as weapons, can hurt deeply, and for many years after, even, sometimes, a lifetime. I remember saying this as a child, puffing up my chest like it was some sort of shield that could deflect the bad names or words and just bounce off me, and from the outside, those doing the name-calling, might have thought they were bouncing off me, but, they weren’t. Those names, those labels, insults, stayed with me for many years, as much as I told myself they weren’t true, I believed them and I let them weigh me down.
The things people say, when they’re meant to hurt, is verbal abuse. As kids things are said on the playground and it’s dismissed as just kids being kids, but it’s that type of behavior, that bully mentality, that sets a precedent, as does shying away from confrontation by the one receiving the insults. It’s hard to break out of being the victim when we are constantly told we are less-than, different, weird, worthless, ugly. Those words do damage, lasting damage, that can affect us for a lifetime if we don’t deal with it.
Ultimately words can only hurt us if we let them. If we don’t believe in what is being said, we will just shrug it off and see it for what it is, someone else who’s feeling less-than trying to pump up their own ego but putting us down. Typically, that’s all that’s going on. Or, someone else showing their fear because we may be threatened them in some way, just by being ourselves. In any case, if someone else has a problem with us, it is their problem, and as much as they will try to put the focus on us, it’s really them who should be in the spotlight for their bad behavior. But, a lot of the time, we take on that burden, believing what is said, or letting it cast a seed of doubt about who we are and if we’re worthy. We are worthy, and going back to the childhood rhyme, we shouldn’t let someone else’s words hurt us, and truthfully they can’t, unless we let them.
This all goes back to self-love, I know, it typically does, but it truly is the foundation of living a healthy and productive life. If we love ourselves and honor ourselves, someone mouthing off and saying a bunch of unflattering things about us that aren’t true isn’t going to hurt us, it may cause us to feel sorry for that person, or find some compassion for them, but we can see, when we don’t take it personally, where those insults are coming from, it’s how they see themselves. When we love ourselves we can see the truth in where the hate or bad behavior is coming from and we can separate ourselves from it, take ourselves out of the equation, because really, we were never really in it in the first place, it was always all about them.
But going to back to times when we were vulnerable to them, it’s time to let them go. It’s time to prove to ourselves that we are not those things, to believe it, to own it, to live our lives as us, not matter what anyone has to say about it. We are only accountable to ourselves, what anyone else thinks is irrelevant, I mean, of course we want people to like us, but it’s not our job to get them to do so if they don’t. Just be you. And when you comfortable just being you, you can work to let those words go from the past, or even present, if someone in your life today tells you you aren’t worthy. When we know who we are, and love who we are, those words can’t hurt us, they can bruise us on a day when we might be feeling sensitive, but we can shake it off, when we love ourselves that is our armor, so sticks, stones, and, any insults hurled our way, will bounce right off of our chest…and hopefully right back at the one who hurled them. A girl can wish anyway. Armor up with self-love SLAYER!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you let other people’s opinions of you shape the opinion you have of yourself? Are there things that were said to you as a child still haunt you today? What things? Are these things true SLAYER? Are they true today? They are likely not. So let them go, let them fall away, they are of no use to you. Are there things said to you today that hurt you? Who’s saying them? Why do you let them? Do you believe them? Why? Those words can only hurt you if you believe they are true, they are not. Write down 5 qualities that you love about yourself. Say them out loud. That is who you are SLAYER. Remind yourself of all the good you are, and let someone else’s opinion remain that way, someone else’s. SLAY on!
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you