You know the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?” No, silly, not the Rihanna lyrics, “Sticks and stones may break my bones. But chains and whips excite me.” (Oh, what a nice message to send to your young fans and all women alike, Rihanna. Good going.)
Words do hurt.
I am capable. I am strong. But when it comes to insults or put-downs, I am just a big ol’ sponge. And I carry the negative words with me for a long time.
Take something someone said in high school. That was, like, in the Ice Age. I still have this vivid memory: my buddy and I were walking across the courtyard at lunchtime. A mean girl in our grade calls out my name and I heard her say to her friend, “You know, the ugly one.” Why do I still remember this?
Hello? Sponge here.
Sheesh. Carrying other peoples’ mean words with me is a pain in the ass. I’m finally realizing this. It’s like I’m this sponge carrying a gazillion bacteria. How can I tell my kids not to let other people bother them when I don’t do that myself? “Don’t listen to them. Those are just mean words,” I say.
I think it’s high time I listen to my words. Time to lighten the negativity load and toss that bacteria-ridden sponge. For good.