As I was scrolling through my news feed on Facebook last night, I ran across a post from my photographer idol, Tracy Moore. She mentioned how bad it hurt when she overheard a girl saying horrible things about her when she thought Tracy was out of earshot. Then she went on to say how she had recently overheard a girl saying positive things about her when she didn’t realize Tracy was near and how differently that had impacted her. It made me stop in my tracks and smile. Partly because I don’t think anyone in their right mind could ever say a mean thing about Tracy, and partly because I realized that it doesn’t matter who’s saying what, words are words and can wreak potentially permanent damage to any human being.
I’ve blogged a lot in the past about girls and how we have the power to destroy or build each other up, but last night, Tracy’s experience really hit home with me.
I have always striven to treat other people the way I would like to be treated. It has never been an easy goal for me, mostly because I am extremely sensitive, but partially because I am too confrontational for my own good. If there is one thing I have learned in my life, it’s that our words have the power to make a person or break their heart. I always hated the childish song, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” It’s so untrue. I think I’d rather have someone throw rocks at me than hear some of the cruel and negative things people have said about me.
Some people might say, “Grow a spine!” That may be true, in part. But what good does that do anyone? The perpetual cycle of back-biting and gossiping continues unchecked. Words are as permanent fixtures as couches and chairs. In fact, the words we speak aloud stick around a lot longer than your favorite couch. I want to love unconditionally, and know that it doesn’t matter who says what about me, because I am still myself at the end of the day and I still want to love others the way God loves me. I want to be the girl that builds other's confidence. I want to love myself enough to see the beauty and worth in other humans, to see enough beauty and value in others that I speak words that reflect what is true, good, and loving. I want to be able to forgive and let go of the hurtful words that have been spoken against me because really, how do I plan on loving anyone when I’m holding bitterness inside?
Life is too short to constantly be tearing others down with your words. Let’s make a goal to use our words to build instead of destroy. <3