Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. That old classic is a goody. But is it true? Can your words hurt others? It’s so easy to get into a non-sensical conversation about nothing that goes absolutely nowhere. Sometimes we just like to talk. We have to get out, whatever we need to, so we don’t feel stifled or limited. There is nothing wrong with feeling like that. That’s not the issue. What you say carries a bigger impact on how others feel and what others think about you than you might expect is. The first thing you need to ask yourself is, “Do I care if I hurt other people with the words I say?” Because if you don’t, then nothing I write from here on will make a bit of difference to you.
When you think of hurt, does physical hurt come into your mind rather than emotional? The most debilitating thing society has going on these day is emotional turmoil. People walk around with emotional baggage from decades ago trying to make sense of it, trying to accept what somebody did to them, but can’t. They are unable to forgive. I’ll get back to that in a second. Do your words cause harm? They can, absolutely. Being aware of this and making a conscious effort to filter what you say is a first step that will go a long way. Do you know anybody that just blurts the first thing that comes to their mind with no regard for the consequence? Of course, you do. But worse are the people intentionally try and hurt others with their words. We get so caught up in wanting to win, wanting to come out on top, that we say or do anything to feel that way. Honestly, this is very immature. Think about road rage for a second. People will pick fights, get out of their cars, and shoot other drivers because they felt slighted while driving. They have lost perspective. How would you feel if the only validation you can feel today is by running someone off the road. It’s right up there with “I’m taking my ball and going home”.
Is this problem going to end because I’ve broached the subject? Of course not. Not in a million years. However, if I can help somebody step back when they get to that emotional edge and be able to back away without any damage being done, then it’s a win. We all know there are people out there who are ticking time bombs. Let’s not be the one to set them off.
Forgiveness. We live in a society that has a huge problem with forgiveness. Because we, as a society, want to feel justified. If I truly forgave that person who wronged me, no matter how long ago it was, then the justice that I’m looking for will never be found. But that is not the way it works. Those feelings of justification do not just sit there. They smolder and they turn into heart attacks, high blood pressure, depression, and other fatal outcomes. The need to be right will kill you. I once heard it said, “Not forgiving somebody is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies”. Isn’t that the truth?
Two things I wanted to pass on today. One, watch what you say. Even non-purposeful statements can cause emotional damage. Two, forgive those who wronged you. IT DOESN’T MATTER what was done to you or when. It only matters to your current mental health that you let it go. In my life, I have seen up close what unforgiveness looks like. Bitterness and anger carried around like a brand new backpack. Please don’t be that person. It’s not worth it.