Everything Begins With A Word

“I wish you’d just hit me,” Jess whimpered after she fell to the floor late one evening.

She knew without even looking up at him that Oliver’s face was crimson from the burning rage of words he had just spewed at her. Jess forced her eyes to make contact with his, and she found herself startled as tears fell from his eyes.

“Why, would I ever hit you?” Oliver whispered. “I could never hit you.”

“Bruises fade faster than scars. Scars on a heart never really go away.”

The words washed over Oliver, opening up every nerve and emotion to receive her message. He slumped to the floor in a ball and began to sob. The frailty of him lying in a heap next to Jess caused her emotions to take over, and she held him in her arms.

And while this wasn’t the first time Oliver’s words were hurled in her direction leaving Jess stripped of any dignity, she knew deep down that this moment was the beginning of the end.

“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” Yehuda Berg

The Power of Words

Whoever said “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” was wrong. Words carelessly spoken can cut to the bone with a razor-sharp depth, leaving a long-lasting effect on us.

I have watched words build up a nine-year-old, who felt they weren’t smart enough to do her school work, and I have seen words knock a grown man to his knees when the rug was pulled out from under him.

“If the words you spoke appeared on your skin, would you still be beautiful?”~ Aulig Ice

The majority of us consider ourselves non-violent people. We have never threatened anyone with a weapon, never been part of a fist fight or full-on brawl, but have we ever stopped to consider that the words we sometimes use, are far more powerful and have a lasting impact on those to whom we speak? Do we understand that words, once spoken, can only be forgiven and are rarely forgotten?

“Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.” ~Aulig Ice

There are times we don’t think about what we say nor what effects our words can have on others. We tend to justify our mood saying things like “You make me angry” or “I wouldn’t act like this if you didn’t push my buttons.”

I discovered a little truth a few years ago. No one makes us angry. The fact is, no one can MAKE us feel anything; it’s an active choice we make on our own.

When we can admit that, we can then begin to use words that will heal instead of hurting.

The Beginning of the End

Oliver came to a crossroads that evening and the picture Jess painted for him about the effects of his yelling inches from her face, made him see things he’d never considered. He now understood that the anger he had been feeling wasn’t at her. She was the most crucial aspect of his life. No, the anger wasn’t at Jess, it was at the situation.

Oliver didn’t think he was a violent person, but he now realized his words caused more hurt than if he had physically hit Jess. Once he had seen things from her perspective, he knew he was the one who had to change if there was any chance for their relationship to succeed.

“Words are either bullets or seeds” ~ Gary Chapman

Words are messengers; they carry defeat, worry, and death but used correctly, they bring blessings, peace, and life.

We use words as bullets when we:

Speak harshly
Criticize
Gossip

We plant seeds with words when we:

Speak love
Are Kind
Offer Grace

Everything begins with a word. Will you grow others or shoot them down?

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