The title above is taken from the saying ‘sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me’. When I was a child and fell out with a friend or one of them was nasty to me, I remember all I got from my mother was that saying, and I was sent back out to play. But words do hurt and in some cases hurt so much that they drive a person to suicide.
Children can be very nasty to each other. Before the days of mobile phones, it was talking behind you back and name calling as you went by. Some parents were also guilty of saying things that hurt like ‘you’re useless’. If you are repeatedly told that you are useless, ugly or fat, then you start to believe that and think that way about yourself. This can last for many years as the hurtful words are remembered every day and they can build up into depression or hiding away from people so they don’t hurt you.
As a baby I had a mole or some kind of growth removed from my face. This left a brownish ridged scar. I got asked lots of questions about it and one teacher even complained my face was dirty in front of the whole class and sent me out to wash my face. My mother had to intervene and explain why my face looked dirty. Over the years I mainly forgot about the scar although as a teenager and persuaded by my mother I tried to cover it with make up. Not a good idea. However I have lived with it for over 70 years now and although my mother asked me before she died why I hadn’t done anything about it as it could have been made less conspicuous I didn’t really want to know.
Words do hurt and can continue to hurt for a long time. Words said in anger often hurt the worst and then it is harder to forget them. Some people never forget those hurtful words, whatever they are and the hurt gnaws away at their insides, making them ill. From my work with Reiki I understand how these hurts work in the body and how we carry them around like baggage. If we want to lead a good healthy life then we have to deal with that baggage and that can be very hard to do. Dealing with all those hurts means that you have to forgive those who said or did the hurts. This is where many come unstuck with dealing with their baggage. I don’t want to go into how to deal with the baggage here so I will finish by just saying ‘Words do hurt’ Think before you speak or as someone once said to me ‘engage brain before opening mouth’.
I don’t usually write about books I have read but a few days ago a friend lent me a book to read, one I would not have chosen myself if I had seen it on a bookshelf in a bookstore. It was a story of a man meeting God and it was a very interesting book. A lot of the concepts in the book resonated strongly with my own beliefs.
One of these concepts was love and loving. There are many kinds of love as we all know. There is the love of parents for their children and vice versa, there is the love we have for our friends and for our pets. Love is not just about sex as the media would have us believe but love is far more wide ranging. Together with loving there has to be respect for each others and compassion for those who are in pain or hurt or need help of some kind.
This brings me to forgiving. If we don’t forgive someone for any hurt they have done to us then we can become extremely resentful and angry. This in turn can make us physically ill. Some scientists believe that anger and resentment can turn into life threatening diseases if we keep the anger inside ourselves for too long. So many times I have heard the words ‘I can’t forgive him or her’. Forgiving doesn’t mean you forget the hurt but it does allow you to move on from the hurt and live a better life. We all have things to forgive. Often our parents or friends did things we did not like and which hurt us. Angry words, violence and other forms of abuse all hurt but it is no good hanging on to the hurts as it makes us ill.
Love is one of the most important things in life. We are all human and I feel that we all have a bit of the Divine inside us connecting us together. We humans are like the pieces of a gigantic jigsaw puzzle, all of us different but fitting together to make a whole. If we all loved each other and forgave any hurts then what a wonderful world it would be.
The book I was lent was ‘The Shack’ by Wm Paul Young. Thank you to my friend Vivian for the loan. Below is a painting I did many years ago with the title ‘Sanctuary’.
What is forgiveness? According to the free dictionary it is;
– To give up resentmentagainst or stopwanting to punish(someone)for an offense or fault;pardon.
– To relent in beingangry or in wishing to exactpunishmentfor(anoffense or fault).
So is it easy to forgive and can you forgive people who hurt you? Or can you let it go but not forgive? The first definition states that forgiveness is about giving up resentment or stopping wanting to punish someone for something that have done. Some things are easier to forgive than others and there are some things that would be very hard to forgive. But let’s just think about forgiving others such as friends or relatives who have hurt us. If we don’t forgive then we can build up resentment so much that it makes us ill. Is this a good thing? Some times it may be easy to let hurts go but not quite forgive in the sense that we lose .trust in that person who hurt us and keep a distance between us so that they can’t hurt us again. Is this a good thing to do?
This brings me to the second part of the definition – stopping wanting to punish some one for an offence or fault. Tit for tat does not work. Gandhi stated that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. So wanting punishment for someone who said nasty things about you is not really a good idea. I’m rather tired today and in a lot of pain, physical pain not pain caused by hurts. But I would love to read your comments and thoughts on forgiving others.
So what is injustice? According to Wikipedia injustice means gross unfairness. It also refers to the absence or opposite of justice. Most people will have suffered from injustice at some point in their lives. It is something that has gone on for thousands of years and we never seem to learn from past mistakes.
Recently while doing some work on something that had originally been done many years ago, it brought to mind various examples of what I felt was injustice in my life. Looking back I can see how hard it was to deal with and at times it was put at the back of my mind but there were also times when I thought about it and decided to forgive those who had caused the injustice. It is not a good idea to continue resenting unfairness; you have to let it go and forgive, but learn from it and try to make sure that it does not happen again. As spirit beings in a human body we have all the ‘bad’ feelings that are part of human nature but we need to rise above these and learn how to work together for a fairer world, to share, to help others and to discuss our needs openly so that others can offer their help and also do this in return.
However much injustice has hurt you, in order to move on you have to accept and forgive and work to make this world a better place for all of us. There are some countries in the world that are working on being a fairer place and we should look to them and see how they are doing this. Please let me know your thoughts on injustice and how you deal with it.
I’ll get off my soapbox now and find a photo that gives us hope. Think of the trees, they appear to die and the leaves wither, but in the spring they are renewed.