Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, But Words Will Never Hurt Me

Un-true! She knew it from the bottom of her heart where the remains of what had been her dignity, self-esteem, confidence-the energy with which she encouraged others-lay trampled, and mutilated.

In one page and less than 100 words someone had stripped her of a lifetime of achievement, shot down every success, touted her strengths as weaknesses, labeled those weaknesses evil, assaulted her personality and denigrated her very person.

Words have the power to uplift and launch the spirit to soar. Words have an equal and opposite power to destroy. Destruction is what she felt. Her ship and her lifeboat were swamped. She became physically ill. She was pierced to the heart and the stress from the untruths bled dry her creativity.

To make matters worse, she scolded herself. Instead of saying, “Self, I’ve got your back.” She said, “Self, what’s the matter with you? Where is your inner strength? Get hold of yourself. Have you forgotten? ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ Rise up! Get a grip! Nobody died. Nobody hit you. It is only words.”

Only words. Yes. Only words. But she was a writer. Words were her love language. All love and all language deserted her for days. Then she remembered. Somebody posted a silly little meme on Facebook. “Good friends help you find important things when you have lost them, your smile, your hope, your courage.”

And she decided to start being a better friend to herself.