As a child I remember hearing the phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” As an adult I have learned that phrase is complete and utter bullshit. Our words contain so much power. Through many years of therapy, I have often been told, the physical pain is not always the most difficult part. It is typically the emotional abuse that remains.
If you have ever met me, you know I use a variety of words and I truly love the shocked looks I often receive with my colorful language. It is often met with a gasp or a comment about how women ESPECIALLY mothers and professionals should not use such language. I must wonder though, why exactly? Some of the most hurtful words I have ever had thrown my way did not actually include “curse words”. The most painful words came from those I trusted. Those who made me feel loved, only to later show me how unlovable they believed me to be.
Why is so easy for us to believe the words that are painful? Why are we so quick to believe that we are worthless, but when we are told we are beautiful we laugh it off? When did the focus shift from loving one another with our words, providing grace and safety with our words to now looking at kind words as manipulative? When did we forget that “curse words” are truly just stronger sounding language, but you can completely hurt a heart with words that have never been deemed a “curse word”?
When did the world shift from a mother being able to tell her child “I do not love you. I do not want you” being acceptable and something the child just needs to move past. To believing that saying “OUCH that fucking hurt!” is inappropriate? I believe the same time we embraced the concept of BEING POSITIVE is when we began vilifying normal human emotions rather than accepting reality. We tell one another to be calm, be quiet, be peaceful, get along, be kind and yet we never stop to ask what being all those things truly means.
Being calm, being quiet, being peaceful, getting along with others, being kind, these are not always comfortable. Sometimes the quiet is met with intrusive and uncomfortable thoughts. Sometimes our peace is only felt after we have screamed at the top of our lungs. Being kind means being honest. Yet we have been told to not make waves. “White lies are ok, because you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings?” Yet no one feels truly close to one another because we lack basic trust.
Sometimes I want to scream at the top of my lungs. THIS IS FUCKING RIDICULOUS! Sometimes I want to say to someone I adore YOU ARE FUCKING AMAZING! Yet if I did either of those things I would be looked at as “inappropriate.” Who determines this? When was it decided that we could provide one other with such false relationships? When was it decided that we should accept hateful words and forget all the kind words we have had said to us? How did we forget that you can be situationally appropriate and still be genuine.
Why do you believe all the negative words that have been said to you, yet you struggle to believe you are worthy, beautiful, intelligent, amazing and ENOUGH! Why do we sit in fear not living a life that makes us happy out of fear that we may make someone uncomfortable? My friends I want you to know I plan to make the world uncomfortable. We must reach out of our comfort zones and reach into the lives of those around us. Why do we believing that it is ok to describe people with hateful words, but that it is manipulative when we are given kind words?
What is the risk of being honest? Making someone uncomfortable? Being seen? If you can’t be seen, if you aren’t making someone uncomfortable and most of all if you’re not living vulnerably enough to make a difference then what are you doing? O and let me tell you a secret, all those hurtful words you hear about yourself just remember people cannot give love if they do not love themselves. Also, it’s bullshit sticks and stones can break bones, but WORDS they can hurt forever. So chose honest words, screw toxic positivity and help one another grow. Let go of what you expect from everyone else and focus on what you can do to live a life you are proud of. After all, in the end we all become someone else’s memory.