I love it when the Dalai Lama says if he has a religion, it is kindness. I know the power of a kind word to uplift me, as well as others when we are going through a hard time. Just think of the power of negative words and nastiness, the power they have to destroy lives, like the life of Dolly Everett who took her life a while ago due to bullying? She is one of hundreds of thousands whose lives were destroyed not only by the unkind words of others but through the lack of power of her own positive inner voice of love to sustain her enough to make her want her to keep living.
That said I do feel that if you are a sensitive individual witnessing or being subject to a lot of violence or emotional violence can have the most devastating of impacts and looking at the state of a world or a school yard or a work place where darker forces of unkindness and cruelty exist, even if subtly hidden can become far too much…… That is why I would never ever say someone is selfish for taking their own life. How can we really know what goes on deep inside another person’s, mind, heart and body really? How can we know what they have witnessed or lived through? How do we know what self torturing reality they may have to live with inside their own mind on any day? How do we know how they were spoken to or treated when open and vulnerable?
As a sensitive person I was subjected to a lot of teasing in my family.. Some teasing can be an attempt at fun but some teasing can involve subtle puts downs as well as the annihilation of another person’s being and reality….Just such a case was something demonstrated on my recent post on rejected feelings and suicidal ideation in the life of Robyn, a fragile young woman therapist Jonice Webb treated for childhood emotional neglect.
The meaning of the word ‘sarcasm’ comes from the Latin ‘to tear flesh’ this is how it feels to be subjected to verbal or emotional abuse, literally as if you have no skin or the one you have is being torn off of you. The looks of disgust you receive when you react to such abuse emotionally brings even more shame and humiliation down upon you, to the point you feel you have no right to exist or to respond in a genuine way. Its like tearing claws off a young lion club.
Later in life we can work to become aware of the impact of unkind or invalidating reactions or things said to us in childhood or adolescence, but we will have to work hard if we have become a scapegoat identified person.. because in some families this is what may happen to the one who tries to point out truths or has valid reactions to the inherent unfairness or unkindness of an abusive family system. You will need to do a lot of work with your own inner voices as well as the cultural ones so as to not absorb them or keep them rooted down deep inside.
This blog is also a plea for consciousness around the power of the way we use words. Are we using them to hurt or heal? Are we using them to dismiss or build up and self soothe, self nourish and protect? Are we using them to assert a boundary in a kind and loving way with others? A simple “it is not okay to talk to me like that” can suffice. Or “I am not going to stay here while you put me down.”
And let us also remember the power of a kind word to sustain and nurture others. By all means we don’t want to use this in a false or sucking up way, but when we can speak with the voice of love and kindness, not only to others but also to ourselves we will be in a much stronger position to deflect those unkind words that when laying claim to a wounded soul can cause much further corrosion and damage.