Funny things, words. I mean, what are they? A few or more letters flowing together across a page. Sounds spilling from lips and floating through the air.
For all their weightlessness, words can feel awfully heavy.
Every word has the capacity to leave its indelible mark on someone’s heart. Say something kind and watch someone’s entire countenance change. Read the comments from any given Scoutie Girl post and you can witness amazing growth wrapped up in a few short lines. And, sadly, I think we’ve all had that instant where one harsh word undid the work of a thousand sweet syllables.
The internet is especially dangerous where that last scenario is concerned. Too often we forget there are actual people behind those handmade products, blog posts, photos, and, yes, even less-than-complimentary feedback.
As crafters, we use our tools to create, and the things we craft with our words can be uplifting or they can be very, very heavy.
The adage bears repeating: words can hurt.
They can even scar. A mean-spirited comment from a stranger can cut; from a loved one, it can crush; but coming from oneself, harsh words can be a slow poison. I am guilty of condemning my dreams to creeping death – I suspect most artists are.
Right now something particularly big is looming on the horizon so I punish myself even more than usual. All I can think about are past put downs, failures, and shortcomings, real or imagined. And no one can find the words to make me feel better. Maybe not any one, but many…so, a few years ago, I gathered the words of many and put them where I could always find them.
I made a list of wonderful things people had said to me and I posted them to my personal blog. (If you decide to click on the image and follow the link be warned: my personal blog has had its ups and downs.) Now I have more than a dozen kind thoughts to combat each negative one. It is pretty potent stuff because it is so very personal, but I also keep a running tab of inspiration on Pinterest.
Now I have a huge database of words at my disposal to help me prepare for many ventures in business and in life. I’ll be honest, though – I’m not sure how much good it will do me for that next big thing in my life.
Recently I got a call from overseas, “Baby, I’m coming home.” And for that, there are no words.