That looks painful because it is.

Imagine taking a bunch of nails and hammering them into a board. Now turn around and pry each of those nails out of the board. What are you left with? A board with a bunch of holes in it. Sound innocuous enough doesn’t it? Now imagine that each of those nails equal a hurtful word you hammered into a real person, and when you pulled them out, what you are left with is hurtful words that can never be undone.  Such is the power of hurtful words.


But they still love each other.

Some of the hurtful words that are thrown about are only meant to hurt in the moment to get back at someone who has done or said something equally hurtful to us. While an argument with a sibling or spouse is simply the way in which we interact with each other. We know that there is love underneath the words. Some people just like to blow off steam, and then everything is back to normal. Other hurtful words are meant to wound deeply and leave a lasting impression that sometimes lasts for years, while the person who said the words, forgets what they said that wounded the other beyond redemption.


Hurtful words that wound deeply and last a lifetime can shape our lives. They shape how we see ourselves and how we respond to others. We may put up a wall to protect ourselves. It could be a wall of anger or defiance, or we may simply hold ourselves back from the world because we don’t feel good enough or lovable enough. Hurtful words can become like a cancer in our bodies that grow, with no cure in sight.


But there is hope in understanding. Don Miguel Ruis, in The Four Agreements says “It’s not about you, it’s about me.” When someone says something hurtful to you, their words come from their own system of beliefs that make up the world in which they live. When people feel good about themselves, they’re not likely to say anything hurtful to anyone. It’s the people who don’t feel good enough about themselves that feel the need to put others down.


Ruis believes that there’s a part of ourselves that believes the hurtful words that other people say to us. That’s why it hurts so much. But we can choose to believe our own reality – we are children of God, who are good enough and lovable enough. You don’t need to defend yourself against other people’s hurtful words. That path leads to conflict. All you have to do is love yourself, and love the other person, because they can’t love themselves.


I’ve talked a lot about how other people have the power to hurt us. But we also have the power to hurt others. When we feel jealous, envious, or angry, we may lash out at others because in that moment, we don’t love ourselves. We have, in essence, hammered nails into the other person’s coffin. You see, we think the world revolves around us. We believe that we are the only one hurt. And why not, it certainly feels that way. We are living our lives after all, and no-one else’s. We feel separated from the rest of the world, when in reality, we are a part of a greater whole called humanity.


There is such an influx of negative messages floating around in the world today. Is it any wonder we get wrapped up in it and start to believe all the damaging messages?  Lose weight and you’ll love yourself and be loved. But what if we lose that weight and still don’t feel good about ourselves? That’s because love comes from within. Self-acceptance comes from within. Trusting yourself comes from within. So instead of believing what everyone else says about you, believe in yourself. Love yourself. Trust your own choices. In this way, you can choose not to believe anything hurtful anyone says about you. It is, after all, “about them, not you.”

Categories: Life Reflections


  • Carole Lucier

    Beautiful words from such a beautiful soul!! OOXX

    August 7, 2017 at 3:15 pm Reply
    • Gillian Andrews

      Thanks Carole. It takes one to know one.

      August 7, 2017 at 4:11 pm Reply

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