Today I have been thinking a lot about the power of words. I obviously have a passion for the written word (or I would not be blogging!), and anyone who knows me knows that I have quite the strong relationship with spoken words as well. I have never been the type of girl who holds her tongue and yes, it has gotten me into trouble more times than I can count, but I do not resent this quality I have.
Words and language are such a powerful gift that we have as humans. It’s one of the things that separates us from the other animals in the animal kingdom. Language is something that humans are drawn to. From our first words to our last, it is so present in our every day lives. We use language for communication, entertainment like theater, music and poetry. We can fill someone’s heart with love and comfort with just a few words and with the same amount we can tear someone down, or hurt them more than we know. Words are so powerful.
“Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
And they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if youSay what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave” – Brave, Sara Bareilles
I talk a lot. Anyone of my family or friends will tell you that. I’ve been jabbering away constantly practically since I came out of the womb (seriously, the doctor told my mom that I had a LOUD cry, which is saying something coming from a man who delivers babies every day of his life…).
I’ve always been the type of gal to say what I think, even if it’s not what other’s want to hear. As I have matured and grown older, however, I have learned how impactful my words can be. It has not changed the fact that I still speak my mind and speak my honest truths, but I have learned to be careful not to be harmful with my words.
I am not always successful with this. I have said things I regret, have hurt people with my words. I have regretted not being brave enough to say something that should have been said. I am not proud of this. But we are all human, we all make mistakes but we are learning. What is important is that we recognize this and work each day to get better at communicating with love, compassion and honesty. All we can do is try.
I think it is easiest to forget how impactful our words are when it comes to those we are closest to. That includes the words we think and speak to ourselves! I want to challenge myself to be conscious of the words that I not only say out loud, but think. I want to challenge myself to communicate with my loved ones in a way that is focused on love and understanding, especially when we have a disagreement. Hurting someone with your words is not going to help you, maybe in the moment you will feel better. But you are actually hurting yourself and the ones you lashed out at. After the adrenaline rush wears off and the sense of needing to defend yourself ebbs away you will be left with guilt, regret, and sometimes, embarrassment.
You cannot take back words that have been said, good or bad. There is no magic spoon to scoop them back into your mouth. Once you send them out into the universe they are there. Forever.
Someday, when all that is left of us is our words, I hope that I will have left people with more smiles on their lips, laughter in their hearts, and peace in their souls.