Last February, I wrote a blog post. I was angry and annoyed by the words of a small group of people who meant absolutely nothing to me. In theory, they should have had zero impact on my life, but they did.
And I think that’s what made me the most upset. Complete strangers had burned me to my core and I was SO not okay with that. I had let them take my power, but writing that letter helped me get it back.
I love that I was able to write it, and for the impact that it made in the lives of many people around me. Turns out my story wasn’t mine alone, but was the same one being lived by more people than I could even imagine. By saying those words aloud, it gave many people the opportunity to stand up and say, “you are right, they are wrong, and we are SO okay”. What a gift.
Now on the flip side. What would’ve happened if I would’ve stood up and said, “those strangers exposed me, and now the world can see my flaws and weaknesses”. What if I would’ve accepted their crap as my reality? What if I would’ve told you all that I am nothing “but a fat pig, that was worthless and that no one would ever love me”.
Would your reaction have been the same or would it have changed the way you looked at me? Instead of being the powerful girl who stood up for herself, I would have been the girl who was pitied or felt sorry for. It would not have been shared 200+ times, it would have been a post soon forgotten and let go.
Funny thing is, It’s the exact same story but it was told from a different viewpoint, with a positive spin.
I chose to see their words in the exact opposite way than they had wanted them to be heard. I chose to take back the power that they had ripped from me. I chose to say, screw you, you are wrong.
I also chose to tell you the story after I had worked through it and corrected it in my head. I chose words in hopes that they would affect change, and they did. Those words were not their story, they were mine.
I said all of that to say this.
Words have power people, do not forget that and do not take it lightly. Our mouths have the ability to uplift or destroy, to burden or set free, to harm or heal, to motivate or demean. We use them to diagnose or more often than not, mis-diagnose. We use them in judgement or as a means to push others down to make ourselves feel better. We change them as often as we change our minds, and twist them or rearrange around them to suit our own purposes or current agenda.
We’ve turned words into weapons and we are killing each other with them.
So please choose your words wisely. They cannot be taken back and will not always be forgotten or forgiven. They can quite easily turn a person into a shell of what they are truly meant to be, just as quickly as they can set someone completely free.
Disagreements and differences in opinion are not reason enough to “attack and destroy”. Open your eyes, open your ears, listen and learn. And sometimes, just shut your mouth.
Your mind may never be changed or your opinion swayed, and frankly, that’s okay. Different is awesome, and what makes our world just that much more interesting. Why would we let our words destroy that which is so unique and amazing?
You do not always need to be right. You do not always need to win. You do not always know best.
Speak up, speak out, but don’t speak over. We all deserve better than that.