Hurtful words hurt. Hurtful words wound. Hurtful words leave scars. Hurtful words damage hearts.
It is inevitable that harsh and hurtful words will come our way during our lifetime. They wound deeply. They can leave us feeling empty, betrayed, lost; as if someone ripped our hearts open. They can leave scars for many years. They can cause anger, bitterness, and an ugliness in our hearts, like no other.
And that includes hurtful things people say to us when we have faced a deep loss or tragedy in our lives. Some people can say some really stupid things, trying to “help us” or make us feel better, but in reality, it can make the pain even worse.
I’m a survivor of hurtful words spoken to me as a child. Those ugly words said I was a loser; I would never amount to anything. Those words said that I was ugly, and unlovable. Those words said no one wanted me. Those words said I was an outcast and rejected. (It took many years of prayer, counseling, and spending much time in the word learning who I was in Christ, instead of who those ugly words said I was.)
When adult life came along, I found out that adults speak to other adults in hurtful ways too.
For many years, I continued to hang on to hurtful words that were spoken to me. I gave them life. I allowed them to have power over me, and to grow such an ugly virus in my heart that it came out in my own ugliness toward others. I was ugly on the inside because I allowed those painful words to manifest themselves into my life as anger, bitterness, harshness, hardness of heart, and more.
No one has the right to damage another person’s heart with their words. When words come your way, you have the right to do what you want with those words, including the right to guard and protect your heart.
How do you do that, you ask? It’s not easy. It’s not a 12-step plan. It’s not done overnight. But, it can be done! How do I know this? Because, like I said, I am a survivor of hurtful words that have been spoken to me since childhood. I have had to learn how to let words go and to forgive the offense. Forgiving the offense was probably the easiest to do, believe it or not! Learning how not to let those words seep into my heart, and to protect my heart, was the hardest thing for me to learn.
Lately, I’ve seen words written on Facebook that are really mean, vile, and hurtful. Some hurt to the core. Some of those words have come from others that I have known for years, and thought very highly of by others. The words that were spoken to me personally, really hurt!
At first, I was stunned that one person in particular, would even speak to me that way. But then I realized that once again, I had a choice: I could either allow her hurtful words to grow and fester inside of me, or I could delete the comments from my heart’s hard drive, remove the virus it was trying to cause in my heart, and close that app. I chose the latter.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, I want to encourage you to stand up for yourself, and protect your heart as well. Don’t allow others to continue to speak hurtful words into your life. If it means removing negative people from your life, then so be it. I have removed quite a few people from my life, because of their hurtful words. I will do it again, if needed.
If you need to remove someone from your life who doesn’t understand your situation; who won’t quit saying painful things that leave you struggling to protect your heart, you still need to forgive that person and no longer hold onto the hurt. It does no good to let go of someone, but hang on to the offence.
Either way, forgiving someone who has caused deep pain because of their words, is for you. You need it. Your heart needs it. You need to be able to move on with your life without the hurt festering in your heart, becoming mean and ugly! Make the choice to delete the comments from your heart’s hard drive, remove the virus it was trying to cause in your heart, and close that app.
Let it go, and set yourself free. You will be glad that you did. I know I sure am!
Christi Wilson is the Administrative Assistant for GPS Hope. You can find her at www.AtHomewithChristi.com, where she shares personal thoughts, inspirational points, DIY projects and favorite recipes.
Do you want to know more about how our thoughts and words are connected, and how they affect us? We would be happy to send you Chapter Eleven, “The Pillar of Thoughts and Words” from Laura’s book When Tragedy Strikes. Here is an excerpt from that chapter.
Believing the truth is just as powerful as believing a lie.
People do what they do, based on their feelings, because of what they believe. Most people live mainly out of their feelings, and feelings do not always equal the truth. To put that a different way, just because I have feelings about something, no matter how strong, does not mean my feelings are necessarily based on the truth.
To change your behavior, which is driven by your emotions, you must know and understand the truth. It is truth that will set you free. To experience victory in any area of your life, you must overcome limiting beliefs in that area.