There is an old rhyme from childhood that many of us are familiar with.
Stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
Earlier this week was the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. I don’t go to temple very often, but it is important to go on Rosh Hashanah. One of the Rabbi’s sermon’s was about words, how we use them and the power they have over us.
Most physical wounds can heal. But emotional wounds that come from hurtful words have the potential to last a lifetime.
One of the points the Rabbi brought up was the negative words we use when we are feeling depressed or we feel angry or we feel uncertain. When living with mental illness, especially depression, the access that a depressed person has to negative words is astounding. At the drop of a hat, we can beat ourselves emotionally, let the bitter voices in our head knock us around or even worse, let the negative words keep us from living a full life.
Looking from the outside in, its easy to say that we should stop talking about ourselves in the negative. We are not alone, we are not stupid, we are not any of the things that the voices in our head tell us we are. But the problem is that it is easier said than done.
Words do hurt and words can kill. They have more power than any physical weapon a human being can create.
I wish would all remember that.