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Sunday, January 30, 2011
Words can Hurt......Really!
Recently I was hurt by someones words to me. These words were spoken to me not due to something I had done or said but because they were angry about a particular situation, and so used that opportunity to say something that obviously had been on her heart. Now perhaps I am being sensitive to this and perhaps I should not dwell on this but I guess over a period of years this particular person has continued to say these type of remarks to me and mostly within our home and while visiting.
The type of comments are rather personal and deal with her opinion of how I especially, (because it must be me, no one else in our family has an opinion that hasn't come from me or could possible be the source of the problem except me,) am the reason that we have these issues that relate to our home, how our children behave or the seemingly useless things I do with my time, like making crafts etc. Here are the 'treasures of my heart' that I have been hurt with.
I have in the last week finished Arwen's Cross stitch (as you would know) made Arwen a late birthday present, which was a little dolly and was about to embark upon some knitted hearts to share with my family for Valentines day. When once again the comments about 'the useless things that I make and how they only find themselves on the floor'. That really I should be using the money spent on these items to make worthwhile items like clothes and knitting garments instead of these 'waste of time items'.
I have over the time of our marriage taught myself any of the homemaking skills I have developed as well as making the majority of home decorating and crafting items for our home.
I well remember the reason I started making items for our home stemmed from the lack of money to decorate and then using the skills I was developing to bring beauty to our home. So I believe I have been thrifty in using these skills to beautify our living space and family life. I have not had comment from my husband or children to indicate they are displeased with what I do.
I admit I have never been a great 'sewer of garments' and only now am I starting to knit and crochet some things, with great difficulty I might add actually, as I tend to forget how to do some part of both these skills. So I have never attempted any large projects, probably as I have no real ability or confidence to do this. My sewing skills for dress making are very limited but I have made some lovely clothes over the years and am trying to teach our girls the basics, even with my limited time and skill level.
However I have been proud of the homemaking I have achieved and the fact that my husband and children all enjoy the little extras I create, whether for birthdays or feast days or just because I want to make something for a child's enjoyment that brings me a sense of fulfillment and joy.
This then begs the question...Does it mean that because my creativity and/or skill does not make it into 'the big leagues' that I should not use the creative aspects of my homemaking that I believe that God has given each to each of us to make our home and life more beautiful? I don't believe so!
We have children that are tremendously creative. Each and every one has many gifts that in different ways bless us with what they create. We have some beautiful artists, storytellers, woodworkers, felters, musicians and sewing/knitting/crocheting people BUT never, not once have I asked them to not use these gifts for the purpose they would like to or to not be who they are.
I have encouraged them in their arts and crafts, I have helped them to the best of my ability and when that isn't enough we source out other resources. I am always open to the children wanting to expand their creative abilities and use new materials or just some other skill they are interested in learning.
I would be so devastated to learn that something I had said would make our children think that I did not appreciate their handy work or the time and effort they had put into the work they had produced.
This is important to me. This I believe can scar a persons creative ability or even their very self confidence. I would never want that on my conscience, believe me!!
I would also like to say that I wouldn't like anyone to look at my own efforts that I may share here in this space and feel that they could never achieve anything creatively. Creative ability is in everyone and I believe it just needs tapping to be found and used, not only for our own benefit but also to the glory of the God who created us and gave us that ability.
Why would I go to such elaborate lengths to tell you about my sadness and upset, that I have experienced yet again from another.
Because our words can and DO hurt. Our words are an overflow of what we think and especially in times of crises I have found that the true feelings of others are actually 'uttered into being.'
I have always been a firm believer of the bible quote~
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:8
I cannot believe that if we dwell on this verse that a lifetime of negative comments and words will be any ones fate. That if we follow these words as a guideline that the people we interact with will ever have reason to doubt we are true children of God.
So many times we have the opportunity to honour this verse but for what ever reason we CHOOSE to say something that will... 'just put that other person in their place, or we believe we say it for their own good.' But I would challenge you and myself that mostly if you NEED to say something like this it is not for the other persons good but for our own SELFISH reasons.
I would also like to add that mostly when this has happened to me in this particular circumstance, that the hurt is like a reopening of an old wound. it hurts no matter how many times it has been said or how long since it was said last.I have found that even though the words uttered are about things I have treasured in our home and in my heart that the best way to deal with this is to SAY NOTHING.
My gosh it is hard and yes I have not always done this, and yes I struggle with the feeling of unworthiness that comes from the uttered words and then the asking of myself 'why does she say that to me, why can't she compliment me on anything I do'.
However perhaps this experience can be used to for good.......yes I do try to think that. I try to remember these experiences when I talk to my husband, to my children and to others. I have over the years tried to encourage others in their tasks,vocations and to look for the good in others. I try to build up and not tear down and most of all I try to remember that the WAY I SAY SOMETHING can make all the difference as well.
The way I speak is just as important as what I say. I think this is self evident but I have to remind myself that speaking in a polite and soft way with a gentle heart creates a much different response from the listener as well as to my own expectations and that it really is very important to speak in this manner.
Am I perfect, the Lord knows I am not but I also believe He knows my heart and He knows my intent and that I strive and long to become more like Jesus each and every day.
I have also been dwelling on some words of advice I received today "to not let your happiness come from other peoples opinions of you but from the Lord. To dwell only on the Lord and his love and opinion of you" and while I do believe this it still does not stop the hurt, and I still struggle with the ongoing hurt of the uttered words. But to know I am doing and being who I can be through the strength of God is a comfort to me, and I am trying to dwell in His love and care.
I hope and pray that even though this was a 'non happy' post that it in some way speaks to your heart and that in doing so it will help you to reach out to those who you love and know and encourage them in your own way.
Words can hurt or words can build up......which will you and I use!!
Blessings to you and your homes,