There was a saying often quoted to me as a child that
“Sticks and stones may break my bones
but words will never hurt me”
Thankfully we recognise all too well these days that some words can be very damaging.
I have had plenty of things said to me in the past that on a bad day can still weigh my down and I can trace back a lot of my own insecurities to a few key spoken words and phrases which have left the deepest of scars.
I’ve been very aware over the past week how many other people out there have been stung by a misplaced and careless word too. Some of which I will admit have probably fallen from my own lips and I am truly sorry.
But I don’t really want to dwell on the bad, sad words any more than necessary, instead I want to delight in the happy words and compliments I have been given, especially recently.
It started two days ago when out of the blue I received a compliment on Twitter about my hair!
Without boasting I have to say that my hair has always been one of my best features, long, luxurious and now the colour comes from a bottle probably even more striking!
Now I’m the type of girl who gives compliments to strangers all the time when I meet them.
“I love your dress/coat/hair colour/shoes /nail varnish etc etc!”
But these are compliments from one girl to another and my kind words the other day were from a man I’d never met, just a follower of a friend and our paths crossed for the briefest of moments.
He just made a comment in a Tweet that my hair was AWESOME in capital letters just like that! WOW!
I don’t know how I’m supposed to react in these situations; I usually blush, get tongue tied and feel like I am fourteen again! My finger hovers precariously over the send button wondering if I should tweet back.
However for once I just responded politely saying thank you while quietly smiling to myself. I am beginning to learn how to graciously accept kind words when they are given. It is something we all seem to need to learn.
But then yesterday I had a whole string of words written for me, actually an entire poem.
I have always, desperately wanted someone to write something for me, the nearest I got to Andrew writing anything was a shopping list of what we needed from B & Q!
My special poem is not a romantic love poem in the traditional sense. It is about my love for Andrew and the boys, words about loss, finding the strength to carry on, dry my tears and laugh again.
The man who wrote my poem for me also suffered an unexpected bereavement around the same time I did, because of this I know his kind words are written straight from the heart and are therefore extra special. I am truly flattered he took the time out to write this for me, I know it wasn't easy.
However it really doesn’t take much to make people feel loved. A poem is not always required and you are stuck for words to say; a smile, even the smallest compliment, a “like” on Facebook or “favourite” on Twitter will often do the trick and let people know you care.
But if perchance you do decide to write or speak just be sure you always use the kindest of words in all situations because words somehow last forever, buried deep and lasting long in our memories when all else is faded.
Kind words rescue us from the saddest days, make us bolder and somehow fortify us for what lies ahead.
Honestly I haven’t stopped smiling since I watched my poem appearing on the Twitter time line and in preparation for that day when my smile slowly begins to diminish I have printed out a copy ready to read those beautiful words once more and just smile!
Or if I cry it will be those happy kind of tears, the ones that fall when you realise you are loved and someone out there really cares...