Unlimited - Anything is Possible
Recently I sat in a meeting with some men and the discussion turned to communication between family members. The thought came to me of how words can produce wounds like razor cuts. An individual razor cut is not a life-threatening wound. You probably wouldn’t even notice it for most of the day until you rub your face and notice a sharp stinging response.
I’d had a paper cut a few days before that meeting. I put some Iodine on it and forgot about it until the cut got touched, at which time I became instantly aware how painful it was. Now imagine if you had your fingers covered with paper cuts. You would soon realize how minor cuts can become a tremendous source of discomfort and irritation. To minimize the distress, you would take steps to protect those cuts from being aggravated. You would probably put on bandaids and alter some of your activities to reduce the likelihood of them being rubbed or touched.
As we react to physical cuts, so we react to mental and emotional cuts. We tend to avoid the people who cut us with their words. Or we will reduce or eliminate any level of vulnerability to avoid cutting words. In marriage this can destroy love and intimacy. Spouses will distance themselves from each other and quit sharing with any depth. Conversation will revolve around shallow issues and the relationship will become less and less satisfying. Likewise friendships, once strong and long-lived, will be no more as the joy has disappeared from too many cuts.
We have all heard and maybe even used ourselves the well-known refrain: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” As we grow older, we realize those words are a lie. Most physical wounds are long ago healed and forgotten, but words spoken in cruel jest, ignorance or deliberate malice remain alive and well in our minds and hearts. The old axiom that time heals all wounds is also a lie. Unless we purposely address a wound from a hurtful word, it will not heal. Unaddressed, fifty years could go by and we will feel the pain of those words as though they happened yesterday.
Gracious communication seasoned with salt is an absolute necessity to maintain harmonious relationships. No one likes to be around someone who makes them feel like they are the butt of jokes and put-downs. Or in the presence of someone who is hypersensitive and quick to give sharp responses. We all like to be with people who make us feel good to be with them. That includes ensuring the content of our conversation is uplifting, not a continual litany of negatives about people and things.
Parents need to be especially sensitive about how they communicate with their children. Seemingly harmless off handed remarks to a child can mark them forever. Children look to their parents as the chief source of their value. One major way parents express value is when they speak affirming words. Parents can be careless in their words and allow their frustrations to spark harsh outbursts with their children. Even so-called mild put downs repeatedly spoken can have the effect of numerous razor cuts or paper cuts. Each one seems of no consequence, yet the cumulative effect is destructive. When the children are grown, the parents wonder why they seldom hear from their kids. They wonder why their children have little interest in visiting and interacting even after they have had children of their own.
If you recognize yourself as someone who has hurt others with your words, it is necessary for you to go to those people, acknowledge your wrong and ask for their forgiveness. They may pass it off as no big deal. People are often unaware to what extent your words have impacted them or do not want to admit it hurt. If this is the case, ask them to do you the favor to forgive you anyway so you can feel better about it. Expect them to experience healing and a strengthening of the relationship.
Make a point of minding how you communicate to others. If your normal content is not kind, respectful and encouraging then ask yourself why not? It may well be that you have been on the receiving end of many cuts from words which have never healed. When others have wounded us, we tend to wound others.
First step identify those people in your life who hurt you with their words. Don’t be prone to dismiss it as no big deal. Words that made you feel pain have hurt you. When you receive enough minor cuts, it can make a serious difference to your well-being. It also diminishes relationships. An important clue is when you think of a specific person and the first thing you remember is something negative they said to you whether yesterday or 20 years ago. Don’t let it fester. Your relationship will suffer for it.
Next step you need to forgive that person for those specific words or for the history of repeatedly being wounded by their words. This is paramount, for without forgiveness you will not be free. It isn’t about them. It is about you. Unresolved wounds result in resentments and bitterness which can produce physical illness as well as rob you of joy and keep you from fully enjoying key relationships. Depending on the depth of the wound and the importance of the offending person, you may need to repeat this step and the one below numerous times until you totally feel free.
Now you can speak words over yourself that will break the power of those hurtful words. Say this: “I break the power of those (describe the specific words or a description of the destructive communication) spoken against me by (name the person).”
Then say this: “I speak healing in my mind, heart, soul, spirit and body from these words whose power I have now broken.”
After you have done these steps, you should notice a substantial change in how you feel when you think about that person and recall their words. If you have completely resolved it then the negative emotion will no longer be present.
The book of Proverbs states: “Our words have the power of life and death.” People have died from getting a severe infection from a seemingly harmless paper cut.
Beyond Evansing - Courage of the Irish Kingom
After consistently encountering obstacles, complications and the unforeseen unfortunate, Edwin is frustrated. With exasperation, he wonders why everything must be so hard.
Twists and Turns
The following is an excerpt from Beyond Evansing (Beyond):
“Then he sat up in bed and started ruminating about all the experiences since they had resumed the Quest. Nothing but obstacles. Everything was a struggle. Hardly anything just came together without some sort of resistance. ‘Why! Why! Why! Maybe the Quest is not what we are meant to accomplish after all. The easiest thing for us to do is simply be comfortable and build ourselves a nice secure, prosperous kingdom. Perhaps I should let go of all thoughts on something greater. It is too hard. What is the point?’ Finally exhaustion overtook the grief and anger and he fell back to sleep.”
If we suffer numerous unfortunate experiences while growing up this can create a stronghold in our thinking and perception of life. As a child my father picked up a small placard stating: “Cheer up the first 99 years are the hardest.” Given the difficulties of my childhood, I subconsciously internalized that statement. Not the best thing for a child to hold on to. Later on as an adult I embraced the statement: “Life is hard and then you die.” Also not a credo to live life by. These mindsets perceived an arduous life devoid of hope.
Despairing thought patterns set us up for disappointments. Even though Edwin had experienced brilliant success as a warrior leader he still battled his own personal darkness from his childhood. This led him to making a fateful decision where he believed the end justified the means. See the following excerpt from Beyond.
“Edwin took stock for a moment trying to determine what to do next. It was difficult for he had never been in such a situation before. ‘How does an entire troop of men and a severely wounded Percival just disappear?’ He decided to ask his men for their input.”
A critical situation arose which set up Edwin to make a crucial decision. He didn’t recognize it as also being a test of his values. Another excerpt from Beyond.
“’Supposing you are right, what do we do now?’
‘We have to get a Druid priest to draw him (Donegal Dwarf) out of his cave.’
‘A Druid priest? Are you serious?’
‘Yes, I am. I know where we can find one.’”
The bait and hook have now been set. As you can tell Edwin experienced dismay at the thought of engaging a Druid priest. The Druids were sworn enemies of the Quest to unite Ireland and have created obstacles to achieving that goal. Druidry represented all that was dark and evil and contrary to Edwin’s values. The next Beyond excerpt shows how Edwin failed the test.
“’What do you plan to do?’
‘I plan to lead you right to him, but before I do, I will use an incantation that is sure to shield all of us from the Dwarf’s magic.’
‘Wait a minute, how do we know you won’t put us under some harmful spell?’
At this moment, Leif spoke up, ‘Sir, I know this man by reputation. Even though he is a Druid he is an honorable man.’
Edwin struggled within himself whether he should delve further into using the Druid’s help. He knew that allowing himself to be willingly placed under a Druid incantation was the last thing Percival would have wanted. Yet what was he to do? His dear friend Percival may still be alive, and of course the missing men were his valued friends and fellow warriors. Surely the circumstances justified him foregoing his normal standards of avoiding any dark side magic.
With a sigh he said, ‘All right let’s do it.’”
This decision leads to Edwin and his men ending up in the same position as the men he wanted to rescue. He then realizes he made a serious mistake in judgment. We can be in a situation where if we would have considered another option or willing to wait a little longer the right solution would come. Edwin’s darkness narrowed his sense of options in a difficult place. This resulted in his willingness to entrust himself to someone whose values and goals in life were totally opposite to his own.
Betraying our heart by violating our principles is never a good idea. The twists and turns of life can pressure us to justify such decisions. They always produce regret and cause more loss than gain. Even if they seem to produce profit in the short-run they cost more in the long-run.
Jordan Peterson has said it is important to recognize life is hard and to develop the character and discipline necessary to succeed in life. We know life is hard. We have two choices, either let the hardness warp us or let it build us. In the book of Romans, The Passion Translation, it states:”…every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives…” We must embrace the truth of knowing how the twists and turns of life can be a source of benefit.
Everyone experiences those seasons when seemingly everything is against us and nothing comes easy. Our progress is like walking in heavy cement. All we can do is focus on putting one foot in front of the other and trust life will turn around for us.
Fortunately, Edwin often experienced the support of Greer, his supportive wife and valuable friends in Percival and Darcy. Together they worked to keep Edwin calm, rational and able to stay the course. He experienced the deposits of their previous support, even when they were not physically present.
wHY tHIS bLOG?
TO ENTERTAIN AND INSPIRE CHANGES LEADING TO A BETTER LIFE. MY HOPE IS FOR EVERY READER TO BE ENCOURAGED AND STRENGTHENED. ALSO TO INFORM ABOUT MY BOOKS AND RELATED ACTIVITIES.