Have you ever swallowed words? Stopped them before they escaped from your mouth as weapons of destruction?
I have a dark place where I exile all those words and probabaly it would be too crowded a place now.
We have been warned about the power of words and so we try hard not to be the ones who draws the weapon first. But sometimes we have had occcasions when we wanted to retaliate . Words are weilded at you which are double edged swords that opened deep gashes.. You are down, momentarily numb with pain. You pull yourself up with all your might extracting the sharpest words to fight back and to see the same pain reflecting in your oppnonent’s eyes.
Then you remember that the person standing before you is the one whom you love, and you retreat, sending those words to that place where all unspoken words go.
Now the wounds are only yours.
Have you lost the fight?
Are you a coward ?
Did the one who hurt you feel remorse and wished to unsay those words?
I have given in to anger, letting my words loose with the intend to harm and hurt. The moment those words left me, shame and guilt took their place . On those occasions I have felt that I am the incarnation of evil.
That is why wisdom has warned us to “Be careful with your words. Once they are said, they can be only forgiven, not forgotten.” (-Unknown)
I keep in mind what Joyce Maeyer said
When we believe the best of people, we let go of each thing they do that is hurtful to us. And we choose to think things like, ‘I don’t believe they meant to hurt me.’ ‘Maybe they’re having a bad day or don’t feel well.’ ‘They probably don’t even realize how they sound.’
It is difficult to consciously choose to be the one to be at the receiving end, carrying wounds that are bound to fester.
Try this. Everytime someone speaks something very nasty to you, take a deep breath (or two ). Then think something good about that person. If you still feel unsettled, after the calming breaths, then walk away. You can have that difficult conversation later .
The above practice helps me . Even if I am pulling up my children, I make sure that my words are measured. I learned it the hard way. I got upset at my younger son and said certain harsh words which broke his heart. He wrote them down and pasted on the inner door of his wardrobe with a title “Cruel words which my mom said to me”.
It has been years now and the list is still short with four occasions and four different statements of mine making me cringe, every time, I open his wardrobe. I have been forgiven, but I let the list stay, as a reminder for me . The list, also serves as a silent but powerful lesson to my son, that words hurt more than anything .