It’s amazing how people can tear you down with words. Sometimes, those words live with you forever, even if an abundance of years fly by, those words are traveling with you, haunting you till the very end. Some feel you can let it haunt you or you can let it go - it’s your choice. But what if you just can’t shake it? What if those words keep echoing inside your mind for months, years, decades, until you decide to succumb to those hurtful words. It can actually dictate what you do in life, how you do things in life, and also, how you avoid certain things that you once enjoyed. Words have power. They can either lift you up or tear you down. What you say makes a difference. What others say also makes a difference, although many will disagree and say, “It doesn’t matter what others say about you” --- sometimes it does, especially if it’s someone you once loved and someone who once claimed to love you too. In my mind, words can be like little fireballs being thrown at you. They scar, leaving burn wounds. You can only cosmetically heal them to appear as ‘untouched’.
Words. I remember all too well, words. Once spoken to me in the most demeaning and belittling way, I stifled myself in my own, ‘words’, my own blog. I silenced myself of subjects I used to love to write about, because of words. I was made to feel as though my faith and beliefs were worthless because I wasn’t perfect myself. From the mouth of someone I once loved, I was called a hypocrite, a liar, and the devil himself, because the person didn’t get what they wanted from me. She tore up every single page of my book and threw it in the trash - the book she carried with her everywhere she went in her backpack. I just stared at every single page ripped and torn lying there in the trash can remembering every single word being yelled at me. My heart broke so much, that my entire outlook on everything I used to write about lacked faith; lacked belief in myself that I can actually help someone. Even if the book which had helped people in the past, even saved someone who was suicidal, it was now deemed as worthless. My heart and soul went into it - but that didn’t matter. The one project I actually finished in my life was finished completely lying in the trash can. I then remember how she once claimed to relate to me because of our faith in God, and then she yelled out at that moment, “Just because I don’t know every detail about Jesus ‘effing’ Christ, you want to end it all!” And that wasn’t the reason at all. And yet, that explained all. I cringed.
Eventually, my ‘words’, my writings altered a bit. Although I still prayed and meditated every day, I stopped sharing my faith with everyone else. I stopped writing down all of my experiences and answers that I found in the Bible. I stopped being ‘me’ 100%. I became more opinionated and continued writing about other topics that were always genuine, but I held back from writing anything of a faithful nature, if that makes sense at all. I doubted myself. I doubted my faith at times. The impact that those words had on me left me empty and unsure. My disappointment in people just seemed to magnify and increase with each passing day. At my lowest point, I came back to the source I left: my faith in God & the Bible.
“When doubt filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” Psalm 94:19
The doubt that filled my mind became less and less the more I fell into my faith once again. As humans, we’re all imperfect. We’re all a mess in our own way. This is how God loves us - He wants us to be a mess. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t need Him so much. So, I had to find this out and learn this entire concept all over again. Better late than never though. I found a little book I kept near my Bible where I would write down scriptures that would help or encourage me during tough times. I noticed one of the dates listed on a page and it was very close to the time I was verbally bashed by the person I cared about. I was still very angry and didn’t realize I hadn’t purged all the bitterness out entirely.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” ~Ephesians 4:31-32
“I have waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry.” ~Psalm 40:1
If I can give any advice at all about verbal abuse and words that can affect our lives is this: always see the bigger picture if you can. Step out of your situation and realize why this person is attacking you. Realize why this person is lashing out in desperation to hurt you. Understand the human condition - understand why people do and say what they do in order to get a rise out of you. Why do people try to stifle or silence you? Why do people want to hurt you if they claim they love you? All of these questions can be easily answered from an outsider’s view - but when we’re so immersed with our own thoughts, feelings, emotions and life’s circumstances - we can’t see it. We’re blind to it and most of the time, we’ll believe every single word that’s being spoken. Thankfully, I woke up. Those ‘words’ once spoken are now in the trash can, just like the book I had written with all my heart and soul. One deserves to be in there more than the other.
My words remain...
"Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn't you - all of the expectations, all of the beliefs - and becoming who you are." -Rachel Naomi Remen
For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com