Good, bad, ugly, inward, outward, to self or to others – words have impact.
A few weekends ago my one year old poured a 500ml bottle of water over my laptop.
I can’t even say I was unaware of the water, the pouring, the puppy, the toddler and the busyness of the two of them in the hallway. I was in the kitchen and somehow thought “I’ll just mop it up later” as I continued to clean the lunch dishes.
Fast forward half an hour and I saw the laptop poking out of my bag with water stains all down the side of it. Baby and puppy now interested in spilled lego none the wiser to the dread filling my belly.
That night I tortured myself in front of the black screen of my dead laptop “Why didn’t you just lift the bag, Aly?” “What sort of an idiot are you? “, “You failed this week in work Aly. Add this to your failures”, “What sort of a business woman are you?” “Why are you so stupid?” and so on.
Sound familiar to you?
In times of crisis I, sadly, find that self hate descends on me. It filters into how I speak to my inner self.
Perhaps it is self employment, a creative “flaw”, maybe a lifetime of people pleasing? Whichever the reason for my ability to let words damage me, it has the power to cripple me in my ability to move on from mistakes. Not a very nice way to live and I seek to change that.
I have a self acceptance ebundle just launched (come and join my movement of empowering women who want to know and love themselves from their brain to their bones) and when everything is stripped right back, all I see is words.
Letters in formations which have impacted so much of what I do and how I feel. I know it is the same for you, for all of us.
Words heal and equally, words scar.
Those words might be from an employer- a deadline wasn’t met. Imagine a scene from Suits when Louis Lit gets “lit up” on some poor associate. Harsh words cast out without thought. Or, maybe your spouse threw one last insult at you during an argument- a very Norn Irish thing to get the last word in!
More than this, the words in our heads that swirl around at three o clock in the morning can build us up (in my experience at three am in the morning my thoughts are more than often negative and soul destroying) or they can tear us down.
It seems that even in ancient Proverbs we are encouraged to be careful of how we treat ourselves “the wise say very little and those with understanding stay calm” through to modern day “Being confident and believing in your own self worth is necessary to achieving your potential “ Shery Sandberg. The base of both of these being words and their influence on our character.
I speak to teenagers quite a bit these days and no matter how buzzing and positive the class is when I am in their classroom, I still overthink every word I said to them upon exit. What did I or did I not say to them. I worry that my words were futile or that I didn’t say enough to help them. Our teens get life tough from social media words to playground insults.
I want to let them know that an online presence is good and communities are formed. But, like so many fads on our lifetime it will soon become a dinosaur and living in the here and the now – turning the person beside you to use words and to engage in conversation is crucial for creating a life of fulfilment and to help others thrive. Not the status we post in anger at the bus stop.
Words have defined our society and can have the most negative impact. So today perhaps we could be kind in our words to ourselves. Don’t criticise your bum in those work trousers or tell yourself you’re not good enough. What does that serve you by being so cruel?
Cruel words have the power to cripple you. They can eat at you as you drive to work or walk to get your coffee from the staff room.
I watched a video recently about celebrities sharing the one thing they would tell their younger selves. The over riding strong point was that they said they would worry less.
I continually have to remind myself that worrying gets me nowhere. Worrying about words said behind my back or in response to what I do or say. I remind myself constantly that this is none of my business and it doesn’t serve me. In the same way that the self hate I feel when I mess up a work task does nothing to build me.
Instead it feeds my anxiety and the words swirl until they paralyze me.
Have a super day and know that you are enough. Also, the laptop was on it’s side which apparently saved it from too much damage and it was brought back to life two days later. Phew!
Share this message with someone who needs to know that they are worthy and also take a look at my self acceptance ebundle (below). It is packed with ideas, my ramblings about my own body and mind struggles, phone screen savers and an audio version. Check it out here.