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Words can wound – so make the decision to let them go

Words have the power to wound more deeply than anyone can imagine. When delivered by an artist with an acid tongue they can penetrate to the very soul of a person within seconds and remain there to fester and grow for an entire lifetime.

It is frequently the unsaid hurt that cannot be shared for fear that it may seem trivial to others that does the most damage. And because you continually hold that thought, your mind keeps going back over that same old phrase or, at key times in your life there will be a catalyst trigger that forever reminds you of the pain you still feel.

No one can erase that memory but if you are ever to move on you need to rationalise why those words wounded you so much. This particularly applies to adults who keep harbouring back to childhood taunts from other students or negative phrases their parents used when they were growing up.

You are not the person you were then, so why should you still be feeling the same? Is it possible that you somehow still want the approval of your parents who are probably totally unaware that they have ever been the cause of your pain? Do you harbour thoughts of bitterness and constantly contemplate revenge against former friends, colleagues or associates? We talk more about this later.

For the moment let’s look at the words themselves. They hurt because they were personal to you, particularly at that precise time and while they might not mean much to the person who delivered them, they managed to hit the target in your particular case.

Let’s take a look at the possible permutations. Maybe you were told that you were fat, or ugly, or useless, a loser or slow witted. Maybe your sexuality was questioned, perhaps it was a vile reference to your colour or culture – you get the idea – and it was personal to you.

But why did it hurt so much? I am guessing it’s because the person who delivered those words was or still is very close to you. You can only be wounded by remarks from people you care about and if they do not feel the same way, or if they lack any kind of social awareness and empathy, then they have this power to inflict damage.

You have probably got the picture by now, so what are we going to do about it? There are obviously many different variables to consider here, but let’s first tackle the most obvious and consider that you are in an abusive relationship. You do not have to be beaten up on a regular basis to feel real hurt – it is the mental wounds that take the greatest toll.

Those daily comments sap your self-esteem and you give them traction because you still harbour love for the person who is delivering the abuse. There is really only one solution; you have to leave this relationship for your sake and possibly the happiness of others in your family. You have to somehow summon up the courage to leave. I go into more detail in other blogs on this site which gives a road map of the way ahead for those suffering frequent abuse and I hope they will provide inspiration.

However, there are many others who are not in abusive relationships where words, whether meant or not, have destroyed friendships, families and careers. These words have caused such hurt or offence that you wonder whether things can ever be the same again.

These words may have been uttered decades ago but they still have power over you and only you can put it right. You must first lose any bitterness and be ready to forgive, even if it means only telling the universe – just let it go. It may be hard to do but unless you are prepared to take that vital first step, you will never be able to move on.

If you feel you can then reach out to the person who originally hurt you and let them know how you felt, you might be amazed how horrified and sorry they are. Most of us are not very good at communicating and most of the time we say things without realising the consequences.

Just be ready to make that first step because if words are eating you up from the inside then it really is time to get rid of them. A word of caution however – there is little point in manufacturing a confrontation. It will only result in more harsh words and that’s not the idea – you just have to accept that some people are really not worth it – and just being able to do that will help you unload the hurt.

Only you can let it go and NOW is the time.

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