We’ve All Got Bruises.

People will say what they will. Don’t let those words define you.

I’ll be honest. I struggle with that. I mean strug-gle. People wield words like swords to cut and wound. It is astounding to see that in my 30s. From people of all ages. Older. Younger.

Am I guilty of it too? YES.

Does it absolutely suck to admit that? To reflect that I have bought into that cycle too? Absolutely.

I had to admit it to myself though first. To admit I have used words, the gift of my words that has been given me to wound others. I believed them true. In my hurt and in my pain. I had a lot of bruises. I wanted nothing more to talk about them. To point at them and tell you how they came to be.

Recently I have learned of some words that were spoken of me, by someone I held respect for. I immediately wanted to react. I felt myself rising up with such anger and frustration that this person would take liberties with my character the way they did. Then I remembered that wasn’t the response I wanted to have. Deep down I wanted to stop, remember those words don’t define me until I choose to live into them. So I decided right then the bruise may be there, but I didn’t have to inflict the next one.

I also didn’t have to wear it as a badge of honor. I can heal, forgive and learn from it. It’s a choice I think we all have to make in life. In confronting the tension in what others say about us and whether we choose to live into that or not. Choosing to believe the ugly that others project onto us will only make their perception our truth.

What would it look like if we…if I chose to not buy into their words and instead lived out what I am called to be? A servant and lover of others.

Am I serving through my words?

Am I loving others with my words?

Those are the two questions I am asking myself each time. Each morning. In the tense moments. In the moments I want to wound back. In the times I get hurt.

I am a work in progress. As are each one of us. I think we need to remember that a bit more in our lives and our interactions and with our words. I think I need to remember that most of all. If that lesson and this thought adjustment had to come from that bruise, then I am glad for it. What that individual meant for harm, God meant for good.

That’s not something I remember at the time, but I am beginning to…and beginnings are good.


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