Quite a few years ago now, I wrote my first memoirs in the endeavour to overcome some serious personal limitations. The title of this work was “I Live with a Giant Squid”, nothing to do with my husband by the way. It described the destructive power of words and the worlds of terror they can create.
A child’s chant
Beginning with the child’s chant “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” I sorted through the shreds of my understanding about why I remained a victim. After so many years of adulthood I was still not functioning as a healthy adult.
Gentle words create healing spaces
Many more years later I credit the gentle, loving words of my husband for rebuilding my world. His persistent encouragement created a safe place for me to rant and eventually to live. Abuse is never easily overcome. And I have written another memoir concentrating on the miracles of life “New Life: miracle watching and other pastimes”. My Christmas gift for my children and grandchildren, my hope is to inspire hope, for everything is possible with God.
Recently I met someone who does not entertain the idea of destructive words. In fact, according to this person’s observation we have entered a new era in which a great cleansing is taking place. Following this train of thought, we can utter any “truth” we may believe without considering the person receiving the message. After all, it is his or her responsibility to receive it well without allowing their own personal trauma to cloud the issue. Consequently, in this new world of “truth”, there is no need to apologize for the hurt our words may cause. In fact, the more the better. Let us be rid of our former suppressions.
Unfortunately, this understanding renders healing next to impossible. The recent Truth and Reconciliation councils held here and in South Africa used a proven course of action. By providing a safe space where one can express his/her pain with the possibility of receiving an apology, healing becomes possible. Ho’oponopono, the Hawaiian practice of forgiveness, goes further with the idea we can take on the pain of our environment and cleanse it with mindful words of love, remorse, forgiveness and thankfulness.
Power of words
Words are powerful. They can be used for healing and for hurting. Our truth may not be the whole truth. Careful choice of phrase can build bridges or cause wars. Choosing love, patience and a listening stance is the best way to create a healing space, room enough for personal trauma and growth.
May the healers in this world of ours continue to use healing words and listening ears. May we all be ready to forgive and apologize for the benefit of all.
Do check out my events page for the latest show coming up soon at VASA!