by Pallas Hutchison
Words have the power to hurt, especially the words of those we care about. Those closest to us have a knack of hitting the deepest targets. The damage can last when the core of our being, the central beliefs about who and what we are, unintentionally or deliberately gets called into question. I want to share an activity that helps me flip the words and preserve my sense of self.
You will need a piece of paper, something to write with and a thesaurus.
Divide the paper into two columns; label them “You are” and “I am.”
Here is the hard part. List the words that have hurt you under the first column. Now, cross off any words that are juvenile name calling. The one thing these words have in common is their negativity.
When that is done, get out the thesaurus and find a synonym that positively resonates for each word. Write these words in the second column. If two resonate, write down both of them. I couldn't find words to cancel out all of the hurtful things I have been called but I did cancel out most of them.
Cut or tear the paper in half, dividing the columns. Discard the “You are” column in whatever manner seems fitting; burn it, bury it, throw it in the trash.
Hopefully that takes the sting out of some words. Did you know you were all of those things?