For the first ten months after I had my son, I worked and my son was at an in-home daycare. I would drop my son off on the way in to work. The caregiver that kept him would make comments here or there that would rub me the wrong way. Most days it was something about how big/heavy my son was and how hard it was to pick him up. We are talking about an infant – 3 months to 1 year old is when she kept him. Typically, some comment she made would frustrate me so much that I would end up in a terribly angry mood for the rest of the day. It was not a great way to start each morning.
Admittedly, I allowed this woman to have WAY too much power in my life. By letting her comments frustrate me and ruin my day, I was also letting it rub off on my job performance and how I interacted with other people because I wasn’t putting the best of me out there for everyone to see. Most days I would end up venting about her to co-workers and it would in-turn frustrate them.
Words hurt. They sting and burn deep down to our soul. We carry them around with us like baggage and sometimes they can even begin to resonate through our body and literally cause our body to ache. I’ve heard of friends that literally spent months with doctors trying to figure out what had caused a pain or an ailment and it all came down to a emotional issue where they were carrying the weight of someones words or actions along with them.
Why do we give these people so much power over our lives? Every person is broken and we all say something dumb or hurtful at some point in our lives. We are used to being offended or hurt with words, so why haven’t we built up a thicker skin yet?
I am choosing to focus on how we let words and actions affect us instead of how to be the people that don’t say hurtful things. No matter how intentional we are with our words and relationships, someone is going to be offended at some point. We need to first work on ourselves and how we react.
I’m ashamed to admit how many days over the course of those ten months I gave that woman the power to manipulate my emotions, my day, my actions, my thoughts, my attitude, my life and my relationship with my husband and child. This woman did not deserve the kind of power I was giving her. She was showing up in our conversations throughout the day and affecting how I was raising my son.
What I am about to say obviously does not apply to all situations and there will be times that words do require thinking and mulling over before you respond. For instance, if someone took time and aim and sent an arrow your way intended to hurt and destroy you – that’s one situation that requires a lot of thought and prayer and maybe even counseling to deal with. However, for those small, tiny darts that are thrown at you with very little thought or even maybe with little to no intention of hurting –
Stop it! Stop letting one person affect your day. Stop letting one persons attitude, words or actions shape how you carry yourself or live your life. Don’t give them that kind of power. If you feel like it’s enough that you need to discuss this with them, do it. Right then. Don’t dwell on it, don’t take it with you. Address it and move on, or maybe shake it off and don’t take everything so personal if you have a tendency to do so. Don’t elevate their words over the importance of your feelings.