The more and more I think about the “sticks and stones” adage the more and more it outrages me. I know outraged probably sounds like a strong word but I assure you it fits.
I think about the way that we talk to ourselves a lot. Truth be told if I think about the amount of people who have actually said the words “you’re not good enough” to me compared to the number of people I just assume think it…it’s like 1 to 1,000,000,000.
I do find it funny though how it only takes hearing you’re not good enough just once for you to believe it. You can hear how wonderful you are millions of times a day and hear how terrible you are just once in your lifetime but the 1 time is all it takes!
So how can we get past this negativity when it is ourselves that are our own worst enemies?
I think first and foremost it is realizing that the saying “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me” is the biggest load of bullshit to date. There is nothing more destructive than words whether they are our own words or someone else’s. Throw your sticks and stones and I will have temporary wounds that will heal. They can heal so well that you would have no idea there was ever an injury to begin with. Words however…that is an injury that never heals. The pain may dull over time but that scar will forever remain.
This is something that I work on ever single day of my life. I have to remember that words…my words to myself will make me or break me.
Here is the thing though…sometimes you have to share things that you see. If you see that “opportunity for growth” in someone it’s your choice of words that will steer them in the right direction.
We all have that one thing (at least one thing) that if you had the opportunity to go back and do over you would. My one thing would be my relationship with my ex-husbands son. He is a smart, caring, passionate young man who needed guidance. Like every other adolescent does. I know at the time I thought I was doing things right. I thought the tough love I was providing him would motivate him into action. When I daydream about my past and how I treated him I cringe. I learned A LOT from my relationship with Jordan…the most of which is who I do not want to be. I guess this goes back to my belief that everything happens for a reason. I just wish it didn’t have to happen at the expense of a young man’s spirit.
I can make a lot of excuses for my strained relationship with Jordan. At the end of the day though I have to take responsibility. I hope that one day I will have the opportunity to have a healthy loving relationship with him. To show him that we have so much to learn from one another.
I hear through the grapevine that Jordan is doing very well for himself. I will actually take some credit for his work ethic. If there is anything that I can pat myself on the back for is teaching Jordan, Abigail, Jacob, and my own biological child, Tori the value of hard work.
If I would have chosen better words…more constructive words I have to wonder how much further along would both of us be?
I share this story in hopes that maybe just one person who may be experiencing the same frustrations that raising teenagers can spawn…or maybe someone who is a mentor to a younger generation of people who just don’t have the life experience that you do….will recognize the power of words….in hopes that they will choose their words better than I did.
This is something that I am still trying to master…and after I master it I will still have to practice it every single day. Although I will never have the opportunity to redo what has already been done I can choose differently in the future.
Choose your words wisely because they can absolutely kill someones spirit…either someone else’s or your very own!
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