Words Have Legs

Do you ever lie in bed at night, remembering past hurts? Many of those hurts are caused by mere words that stay with us and sometimes keep us up at night. For example, say someone in your family constantly joked about how you never could make any type of food without making a huge mess in the kitchen.

Oh, sure, you laughed right along with everyone else, but inside you may be thinking, ‘Did I really do that? Do I still do that?’ And all this time you thought that you were a pretty good cook and that everyone loved your food. Now you feel that your good food is far out-weighed by the mess you supposedly make.

Or say someone in school always teased you about your freckles. It’s not like you could have done anything about them then, but you got teased just the same. For all you know, the person who said that might have been thinking how cute you were, but it was easier (and safer) to make fun of you.

The truth is that words have legs and they can walk right along beside you for years. Did someone ever call you “goofy” or “fatty” or “stupid” or “ugly?” Sadly, there is no time limit on the effect of those words. Sometimes we carry them with us for decades.

I’ve taken a lot of metaphysical classes, I’m a Reiki II practitioner, and I’ve learned a lot about managing emotions and keeping positive. Even so, I still have to work hard not to fall prey to old words and their damaging effects from time to time. We certainly can work on taking the sting out of those words, but it does take work.

Our minds and hearts seem to want to hang on to those old emotions, especially when we are feeling vulnerable. While we work on ourselves, we can use our own experiences to remember not to treat others that way, and not to throw ‘word bombs’ around that can explode later on. Since we already know the pain that ill-advised words can cause, we must remember not to pass them along to others.

My granddaughter, Ava, who is nearly four years old, is going to be a tall girl. Her dad is quite tall, and, for her age, she is pretty tall herself. She is proud of being tall, and is encouraged to feel that way. The last time we were together she told me, “I’m going to be BIG when I grow up!” Ava refers to being tall as being ‘big.’

I replied, “Yes, you are. And you know what’s great about being big?”

Ava said, “What?”

I said, “When you’re big, you can see everything everywhere, and not everyone can do that.” Ava grinned and nodded, and said, “I’M going to be that big!” (Yes, you are, little girl–you certainly are.)

Let’s make our words memorable for good things.


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