Sticks and Stones“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”. It’s a rhyme many of us were taught as small children as a way to cope with being teased and called names by other children. We all used it, but we all knew just how hollow it really was.

The truth, of course, is that words do hurt. And they can cause wounds that last longer than any mere physical injury. And words have the power to change the course of our entire lives… if we let them. I’ve talked about bullying before, but today I wanted to specifically take a look at how the words of other people can have an impact on our biggest dreams and whether we allow ourselves to live those dreams or not.

What words can do

Words can do a real number on you, especially when you internalize them and start spewing the same sort of negativity at yourself. Remember that there is a cumulative effect to negativity, and that seemingly minor, negative thought habits can poison our entire outlook on life.

When you’ve spent a lot of time listening to other people tell you you’re not good enough or that there’s something wrong with you for thinking the way that you do or for wanting the kind of life you want, then it’s much harder to push through all that and still get yourself to where you want to be.

Why it happens

Because of the fact that human beings are completely helpless at birth, we are hardwired to put a lot of value into the opinions and beliefs of those who raise us; we have to – they’re the ones who keep us alive. This often translates into an unconscious belief that the opinion of anyone in a position of authority (and that can be interpreted as anyone with more confidence that we have) should be given greater consideration than our own.

Unfortunately, this conditioning can have very detrimental effects once we are old enough to start making our own decisions and living our own lives. Often, if our own internal wisdom is at odds with what we’ve been taught, either directly or indirectly, we feel that there must be something wrong with us for thinking the way we do. And so we squash those whispers inside of us that tell us what we’re really meant to do here.

Why it hurts so much

You already intuitively know to love yourself; it’s the reason it feels so awful when people say horrible things to you. You can feel that it is untruth because the real you knows how wonderful you are. You are light. You are love. You are infinite source. When people say mean things designed to hurt you, and when they tell you that what you want most in life isn’t acceptable, it does hurt because it clashes so strongly with the truth inside of you; there is fundamental vibrational discord happening within you.

Remember that you come from a place of unconditional love; this is who you really are. And you have a gift within you that you came here to give. That gift also came from that place of unconditional love, and it is a gift that only you can give. Because it is so unique to you, when you are told that it isn’t good enough, or that it will never happen, it affects you to your core. Your very purpose seems undermined or devalued somehow.

But remember that it is not what happens to us, or what other people say to us, that matters most. It is how we choose to react to those situations that matters. We do have a choice about how we let the words and opinions of other people affect us.

How to deal with it

I’m not going to brush it off and tell you it’s easy to just let that kind of stuff slide off of you. This kind of conditioning goes deep; it is rooted in our most basic survival instincts, after all. But it is just a form of programming – just another set of thought habits. And habits can always be changed.

Once you know what is actually happening in these situations, you can start taking conscious steps to try and counteract the effects. You can choose to recognize that the calling within your own soul is more important than any outside opinion could ever be. You can choose to be stronger than whatever is trying to hurt you.

Successful people are those who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at them. ~ David Brinkley

When people try to hurt you, in any way, it is because they are in some sort of pain themselves. Pain only ever comes from pain. In most cases, when people bash your dreams, it’s because they’ve already given up on their own, and that hurts, a lot, and on a very deep level. And that kind of pain tends to show itself in the form of trying to stop other people from realizing their own dreams in a “misery loves company” kind of way.

You are the only one who can decide whether to continue working towards a particular dream or not; this is your life and you get to choose your path. If you decide you are going to continue following your dream, then you have to be strong enough to ignore the sticks and stones and hurtful words of those around you. Channel those feelings into building the foundation for something phenomenal.

photo credit: cc

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