You know the old saying…sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me. But how true is that for most of us? From a mindfulness viewpoint no, words cannot hurt us. We can’t control what anyone else says or does to us…we can only control our reactions and our thoughts of ourselves. But, when we aren’t centered and get lost in unconscious life, words do hurt us.
Unfortunately it happens a lot. And it starts at a very early age. I work in an elementary school. I hear how vicious kids can be and it truly breaks my heart. It also makes me aware that teaching mindfulness and finding child aged tools to help them remain mindful and centered are so important! Especially with suicide rates getting larger and the age of these suicides getting younger.
Words can hurt us…if we allow them to.
Today was one of those days that it started happening to me. Through a text conversation I was getting a “vibe” that my parenting style was being challenged. That they were a better parent than me. That I have raised my kids to be “defiant” and not giving consequences or boundaries. I started hearing my ego – my voices in my head – start telling me that he is the better parent. That, like always, he is better and I am less than. And then the thought that hurts the most. I am a bad mom.
The difference today was that I was very aware of those voices. I heard them and saw them start rising up inside of me like lava. I felt my heart start racing. I felt those negative emotions that are attached to those voices start pulling at me. And then I remembered. I don’t need to continue with this conversation. It isn’t a productive conversation and it is feeling spiritually unhealthy for me. So I stopped. I said this wasn’t a productive conversation for me and I just stopped.
Afterwards, I took some really deep breaths and told those voices in my head – hey look, I have never claimed to be a perfect Mom to my girls but I am the best Mom I can be and I feel good about that. I know they love me and they know I love them. To the moon and back. And no one is perfect. Parenting is hard and EVERY parent makes mistakes whether they want to claim them or not. I do claim mine. I know I am not perfect. But no one is better than me. I am enough just as I am. And I am continuing to talk down my voices by typing it all out here.
I spent many many many years of my life not feeling good enough and I really want to close that chapter. Put those voices in a cage and bury them in a deep grave. So many years I felt bad about myself. And I am a great person! I am enough! You are enough just as you ARE!
Words from others are just their own internal struggle. It is theirs to own. Not yours. I always tell my daughters – you will never please everyone all the time. Just be YOU! YOU are enough. Everyone else has their own stories. Their own voices in their head. You can’t control that. You will never be able to control anyone else’s thoughts, words, stories, etc. All you can do is be you and know what is true for you.
Is it easy? No. At least not for me. I have to make myself do it intentionally and a lot of times (probably most times) I let the words hurt me and I strike back and then they strike back and it becomes a vicious text war that doesn’t need to happen. No one is better than anyone else. We are all doing the best we can to see our place on this life journey. We will fall into holes, run into branches, take turns down paths we didn’t expect, and we will also enjoy the breaths we take while traveling. The beauty in the trees and the spaciousness of the sky.
I am about to go to a luncheon where I know half of the people have judgements about me. And I am ok with that. As a matter of fact I love them even with those judgements in place. I know I am a good person and that’s all that matters.
A previous post spoke of dropping the rope. This is just another example how dropping the rope helps keep your ego – your voices – in their place and remembering that YOU have the power to control your reactions and thoughts.
YOU ARE ENOUGH!