Words are powerful, invasive and life-changing.
Be it a compliment from a crush, a harsh word from a parent, or an epic story, words have the ability to cause emotions. They can take us on a journey to far away places where we can release this world in favor of the spectacular or they can destroy our self-confidence in the blink of an eye.
I have been both the purveyor and victim of words.
When I was young, I was brutally beaten down by others, physically and verbally. I was called names, beat up, chased home and tormented. The joke was that I was clearly the fastest kid in school because I was chased home every day.
People would demean me in class or hit me in the playground. I was often assaulted by 3 or 4 kids at the same time. Kids that were older and bigger than I was.
Eventually, I got bigger, learned to fight and wasn't beat up again.
The words lingered...
You see, I was able to heal the bruises, the scrapes and the bloody noses...I will always remember what was said. The fights injured my body, but the words injured my soul. I will never fully recover from them because they affected how I thought of myself and how I interacted with others for the rest of my life.
Nowadays, I am fairly immune to negative influences; I am too seasoned for that. Might be that my past scars created a barrier to those that would try to hurt me...a karmatic shield, if you will. Unfortunately, they also prevent the old, unhealed wounds from closing.
It's important to understand that what you say, especially to those who are not battle hardened, have a lasting effect on their whole being.
I will never forget, never stop hurting from, being called a retard.
One of the many monikers placed on me, all of them as degrading as the next.
Again, words are powerful. They can destroy a childhood for sure, they did mine, but they can also bring hope, provide comfort and elevate joy.
The words you choose don't define the person you're describing, they define you.