Remember that old children’s rhyme? …………but words will never hurt me? As an overly sensitive empath, I find myself feeling hurt quite frequently by words. Mostly by words in social media comment streams. Perhaps I’m just old, but today’s main method of communicating thoughts and ideas, moved from the private pages of a personal journal or from the wired land lines of my past to the endless streams of back and forth on Facebook, leaves many, like myself, vulnerable to the written word’s ability to wound our psyches with pinpoint accuracy.
One of the positive things about turning 50 has been acknowledging my feelings and not being afraid of speaking out about the things that hurt me. On the other hand, in my trying to lovingly bring attention to those same wounding words, I may hurt those who had absolutely no idea of the power their words have wielded to wound me. If I am mindful of trying to voice my thoughts in a loving and compassionate manner, I feel better that I have expressed myself without hurting someone in return, but I may fall short of the mark.
Yes, social media is a place where we all can express our thoughts, our daily annoyances with our families and friends, the people who serve us in the coffee shop or the supermarket or the drivers who share our roads. Our lifetime frustration with political policies and parties and workplace drama also rate expression. But isn’t it possible to be mindful of how what we post and how the words we use when we express those thoughts may affect someone in a similar situation who might just read them? We don’t all agree on everything, especially things like politics, child rearing, and religion. But can’t we express those opinions we have in a way in which we don’t invalidate those who think and feel and worship differently? The world would be a much nicer place if we only could.