If there's one thing that I've realized over this past year, it's that I'm a sucker for verbal/emotional "abuse." Ok, awful statement I know, but it's true. The more and more that I heal the more I realize one of my biggest problems -- myself. I subject myself to what I know is unhealthy for me, usually subconsciously, but when I realize it, a lot of the time I don't cut it off. Because of this, I'm subject to myself and I become what I fear.
It's like that saying, "hurt people hurt people."
The more I realize my subjection to this hurt the more I lash out in the same manner to people around me.
Have you ever been in an instance when you're around someone and they basically tell you all the ways they can't stand you, or how you dress, or how you talk, or blah, blah, blah but you keep going back to that person? Instead of being like "yo, that's not edifying or speaking the truth of who God says I am, so I should either A. Stand up for myself or B. Get the heck out of dodge."
Often times, this person, will "disguise" their statements as the truth or "just being honest," but let's be honest, that's just their personal opinion of who we need to be. Do you know how I know that? Because I've been that person, many-a-time disguising my horrible opinion as "honesty."
Honestly, I can be a jerk, but I'm also a work in progress.
I think the reason this is so important to discuss is because it is alarmingly common. We see this manifest in a number of ways: bullying, manipulation, opinion, and so on. More often than not, all of these instances are brought on by "choice" words used by imitating individuals.
Now, ironically enough one of the most common love languages is Words of Affirmation, and if you don't know what love languages are, they're basically the ways we give love and receive love. [but, also go read the book "The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, it's phenomenal.]
So, back to words. Many people, myself included, words are one of the highest ways they give and receive love which is why these specific types of abuse are so detrimental.
In the book of Proverbs, it says that death and life are in the power of the tongue.
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits."
Then, about half of the book of James sheds more light on how what we say effects people.
"But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison."
Plus, I'm sure we've all heard a lovely adult in our life quote Thumper from the movie Bambi, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."
Well, I'll be the first to admit it, I'm awful at that. I can be a total loud mouth with no filter, which is not a very redeeming quality, but I'm working on it. The more I hang out with Jesus, the more I realize I am what I consume. If I'm constantly filling myself with negative words about myself from outside sources I begin to spill out negativity on everyone around me causing massive destruction in my wake, but if I fill myself with Gods word and truth then I tend to sprinkle glitter and a smile instead.
Earlier today I was with my best friend, eating tacos, and I was sharing with her something I've decided to start doing: sharing all the positive thoughts in my head with whoever they're about. I saw a video called "Girls On An Elevator," or something like that, and the jist of it is: 3 girls get on an elevator and they're all looking each other up and down, but they're all thinking super positive, kind things about one another in their heads. Finally near the end of the ride one of the girls just goes for it and complements the other and by the time they step off they've all be come friends.
I saw that and it blew my mind, because just think about our impact if we started sharing our positive thoughts over our negative, we could totally change the outcome of someone's day. That's amazing.
Here we are, in our messy cycle of addiction to pain, subconsciously seeking out abuse because it's so familiar. We should stop. Easier said then done but it's possible. Surround yourself with people brave enough to tell you the truth of what God says and to call you out when you forget who you are and you forget that your opinion is not the end-all-be-all. Uncomfortably, I'm learning that each and every day, some days are easier than others but hey, I'm a work in progress.
Final note, if you believe the negative that's been said about you and you keep going back because you think that's all you deserve, I'm here to tell you that's total BS. You are more valuable than you can imagine so know that you deserve love in the form of kindness.
Have an amazing week. Bake some cookies, love on some people, drink tons of coffee, and love life.