New Words, New Wounds

“They are just words,” someone once said to me.

Let me put this into context, though.

Someone very important to me made a comment – just words, mind you – but I felt as if I had been cut to the core.  It was very personal, and it was very painful, and the results of these words being said were the end of a very long friendship.  Scars heal, pain subsides, blood dries and is washed away.  Words linger. They carry weight. They leave a scar deeper than flesh if they are wielded inappropriately.

It’s funny that my whole life is built around words. I take them and mold them into stories, ideas, poetry, and I am always very aware of the weapon that I wield.  I choose words carefully to create mood, to present a character, to bring something out of my imagination and give it life.  I love words, and I love their power, but I, too, am capable of forgetting exactly how powerful they can be.

I forgot this quite recently, and the unfortunate downside is that those words which I tossed out without thought have gone on to hurt someone I care deeply for. I can offer a million excuses, but the truth is, I was foolish.  I lost sight of what I know in my own heart as a universal truth: words wound if not used carefully. And the damage I caused is sizeable and may be long-lasting. And as a result, I am hurting deeply. I am even trying to use words to cover the pain and repair the damage, but it isn’t working too well thus far.

In my hurt, I am trying to continue to focus on using words as tools instead of weapons. I’m seeking to commit an act of contrition by offering words to soothe the damage I’ve done. Only time will tell if my sin is cardinal, but in my own heart, it certainly feels that way.

This is also the time where I see that words fall short of having super power. One can only offer “I love you,” or “I’m sorry,” so many times before it becomes nothing more than mist dissipating on the breeze. This has all been a very vigorous and painful reminder to me of how language – words – impact others, and as a writer, it is a lesson I can’t take for granted again.


4 thoughts on “New Words, New Wounds

  1. Penny says:

    Words can definately cause more damage than people thing, and I think most people have been on the both ends of the receiving and giving. Great post and a great reminder.

  2. Your blog is so true, I grew up with people that hurt me this way. I have lived in hell all my life, I have been emotionally, mentally, physically and sexually abused. Emotionall & mentally abused were caused by words and hurt far worse than the other two. I have gotten past that part of my life because I have forgiven and thanked the people for showing me just what kind of people they really are. I don’t do drama or at least I try not to let drama into my life now. I am too old for all that now. I thank God for the many blessings (even the dark times) for I have learned what is most important in my life, and that is Loving Unconditionally. Also treating others as one would wish to be treated with respect, kindness,compassionately and understanding.

  3. Dana Dolsen says:

    Hello Kim,

    The truth of the “word” and how deeply it can impact us as individuals (whether written or spoken) is at best difficult to discern, let alone comprehend. Perhaps the best use of a word is in personal, one-to-one conversation, i.e., face to face – yet in today’s fast-paced world this is becoming more of a rarity rather than the norm.

    We, as individuals and as a society, suffer when we cannot be ‘present’ (figuratively and literally) for each other in our relationships. As Don Miguel Ruiz counsels, being impeccable in our use of the word is a constant challenge and struggle. In addition to the content, so many other attributes of a communique may play a role in the way the word is received and internalized. Things like body language, eye contact, the tonality used, as well as the nature of the delivery, all combine to either transcend or mask the actual message. We need to help one another nurture the truth of the word into the contextual embodiment of communication while also vigilantly guard against the inadvertent remark, the urge to utter a retaliatory gut response which then places our integrity and relationships in jeopardy.

    Thank you for being open, transparent, and compassionate about the power of our words and the mighty consequences of their use. I empathize with you as I too have been the sender and the receiver of words spoken that cut deep. I am with you in your anguish, remorse, and hurt.


  4. amkuska says:

    Words can cause so much more damage than a physical wound. You are a strong writer, perhaps you can find words to heal from this moment as well.

    I wish you the best of luck.

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