Monday, February 16, 2015

Emotions and Power of a Word

I chose this blog topic a few days ago after sharing an excerpt from my next book on my Facebook page. My excerpt struck a bit of a chord with a few people who then voiced their opinions regarding what I shared. I felt bad because my words were misunderstood, they of course were taken out of context since it was merely an excerpt and not the whole passage, so I replied to their comments with
grace and love explaining where I was coming from; not even sure if that made it better.

Then yesterday, I received two beautiful email messages from other readers regarding another post I shared saying how wonderful my words are and how they come to my pages daily to be inspired, moved and motivated. It made me feel good to know this, so I responded to them as well, thanking them for taking the time to let me know that my words impacted them in a positive way. Then today, a very negative and intentionally hurtful message from someone who is in their own pain due to a situation that I was unfortunately involved in showed up in my inbox. What a roller coaster of emotions... I thought, however all of the instances had to do with the power of a word. Whether spoken or written... we can never take them back; they last forever and impact the lives of others; only sometimes, not in the way we hope. So... I decided that this was definitely the topic to go with tonight.

I never understood the saying "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me." What a LIE! Please... don't ever tell your child this, because when words cut through them at some point in their life they will fail to understand why they feel the way they do. I remember my mom and dad telling me this with good intent but when hurtful words were spoken, I thought my pain was abnormal... that I was supposed to be able to just brush it off and carry on.  It is better to teach about the emotions of words... that people WILL say things that will be hurtful, but that it is not always intentional, that we can control how the words affect us by understanding emotions behind them. It is easier said than done. because names hurt, words hurt and the aftermath lasts a VERY long time if certain actions don't follow.

Luckily, I have now learned that through prayer and reading things to understand the human mind, we CAN make words bounce.... we can learn to turn the other cheek and base our honest opinion of a person on actions; so now... names and negative opinions rarely hurt me. I have discovered that hurtful words will be spoken in anger, most likely when emotions are stirred, when misunderstandings occur or when stress is at both highs and lows. I have learned to pay more attention to actions... to what happened before and what happens after the hurtful words are spoken. Do they apologize, explain themselves, take action to mend the brokenness caused by them? Were there things that happened before the words were spoken or written that can somewhat justify what they said that would make it less hurtful if you can remove your own emotion for a moment and try to understand? I do my best to control mine, but I am imperfect just like the rest of you, so I say things that I wish I could take back sometimes too. When this happens I always go back and explain why I said it, what provoked me and then ask for forgiveness with a sincere apology. That is also all I need to make hurtful words disappear once they have been spoken to me. We all screw up and we all say things that we don't mean. We need to be able to redeem ourselves and we all need to recognize and accept a sincere apology; life is too short to carry hate and animosity.

Emotions have such  great strength. Everything in our lives revolve around them... they create all
circumstances in our lives both good and bad... and although at times I wish I could turn them off, without emotion, life would be so bland and meaningless, wouldn't you agree? Imagine life without love, without laughter, sadness or pain. To feel love we must know hate, to feel calm we must know chaos, knowing what it feels like to be angry is the only way we can experience a positive side and without sadness we would not know the feeling of joy; that list goes on and on.

It is not the situations we need to control, it is the EMOTIONS within the situation that we must grab hold of. This is true in all relationships, personal and professional, in our parenting and every single human interaction we encounter. What a revealing and wonderful moment when I realized that the more I gain control of my emotions in life... the better I can deal with anything that comes my way. So many times since, I have thought to myself  that understanding the situation was WAY more significant than reacting on my initial emotion.

In the end... our lives and our happiness are all about how we handle things, how we look at things and how we ultimately react to things. The cool part is that WE control all of this which means we can always improve. Once in a while... you WILL encounter "that person" who is just mean, hateful, hurtful and vindictive no matter what you do... just know that even THEY have an underlying excuse. Feel bad for them and simply pray for their peace; that is all you can do for people like that.

"One person's words can change your life, your direction, and your belief in yourself"
Shelley Giard ©2010

Until next time...







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