Imprints Upon My Soul

First, let me admit, I am a sensitive person ... sometimes overly sensitive.  Unfortunately, that leads me to often take words to heart and place unintended meaning on them.  I'm trying to catch myself and not react quite so quickly these days.  I don't always succeed.


I know hurtful things said can leave scars on one's soul.  At least, that's been true in my life.  A physical injury may bleed or bruise but the body will heal.  Those internal wounds may linger much longer, even a lifetime.  That's not to say I hold hurtful words and insults closely and never let them go.  It's a choice to let myself heal.  Some are easy.  I quickly realize it was never worth being upset about.  Or the person who caused the hurt just isn't important enough in my life to let them have the power to cause me pain.  I try to always remember to stay true to myself.

But there are words said to me over the years, that have stayed with me.  Some came from people very close to me.  The hurt has never completely disappeared but it has definitely faded over the years.  Not all words cause pain though.  I've experienced many instances where words left a positive and powerful imprint upon me.  I have carried those with me through my life with gratitude and affection for those who shared them with me.

I try to always be aware of the affect I may have on someone with my words.  I'd much rather be remembered for saying helpful, encouraging and truthful words than those that leave negative, demeaning or angry feelings in the aftermath.    I'm not perfect though.  I make plenty of mistakes and I've said many things I wish I could take back.  Once the words are out though, you can't erase them.  The best I can do is apologize.  Needless to say, I've apologized a lot over the years ... lol.

I think many of us need to consider our words .... both the spoken and written .... a little more carefully.  I know I need to practice this more in my life.

How do you want to be remembered?

SeriouslySappy SeriouslySappy
51-55, F
17 Responses Feb 24, 2010

Oct24, you have given very wise advice. Thank you!

Wise words Tsenokqwz. Thanks for the comment.

A single word can cure a heart or save a life. :)

Glenara, thank you for your comments. As a child I could burst into tears over the slightest thing. Fortunately, I'm not so quick to cry these days but I still have my triggers. Sensitivity often seems like a double edged sword to me. It does help me to write it all out on EP, especially when it results in some great discussions.

I've been thinking about your comment TakenHeart. I don't think your perspective is wrong at all. It's what works for you and your family and I think that's great.<br />
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Maybe it's just about what we learn growing up and what we come to expect from life. I grew up in a family that was not verbally or physically affectionate. I've certainly grown more comfortable with showing and sharing my feelings as I've grown older. So anytime I hear "I love you", it's very meaningful to me and I don't take it lightly at all. Just as I don't want anyone to say it to me who doesn't truly mean it. I'll take a few times of sincerity over repeated words of obligation. I know that may not make much sense but I can't figure out how else to say it ... lol.

Blissy, what is it about mothers & daughters? I've had far more conflict with my daughter than son. I can't count the times I've said to her ... parents make mistakes too. I have apologized to her. Of course, I've also reminded her that her opinion is not always correct either. The one thing I've discovered is there are life lessons that are hers to learn and her choices to make. Accepting that is difficult but necessary. Just as I think there are things she could learn from me, she is also teaching me.

Yes, I believe that tolerance and forgiveness of others is fundamental to our happiness. We don't have to let everyone walk all over us ... it's not about that ... but the understanding that we ALL make mistakes ... we ALL get it wrong sometimes ... is a very important and basic truth. I know when my daughter (now aged 15) is upset with me - I've said to her on more the one occasion - I'm only human - I get things wrong - just because I'm a parent doesn't make me perfect and all-knowing. I want her to understand that I accept that I'm not always right. We all lash out and say things we don't mean occasionally - I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

Blissy, I read your comments on the other story and I agreed with what you said. I can't agree to living my life without forgiveness. If I show no tolerance for others, how can I expect to be forgiven? <br />
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I do try to keep in mind just as I know others don't always understand my words & actions as I intended, I may also misunderstand those of another. In a heated argument with a friend years ago, she said something I've never forgotten. "It's not all about you." Hearing those words from someone you care about and trust will really set you straight in a hurry. <br />
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I'll never change my sensitive nature, it's who I am. The downside is feeling pain very intensely. But the upside is far more worthwhile. It enables me to be more sensitive to the feelings of others which has helped me form some great friendships.

You know that you and I see eye to eye on most things Sappy. I've just been saying on another thread that I'm lucky in that I've had very few very bad things happen to me - I think I've led a bit of a charmed life in some ways! lol - but I try to forgive the bad things that people say and do because we all have times of weakness in our lives - and it's easy to think that someone is behaving in a certain way just because of us - there could be many reasons why they are sad, or a bit crazy - the world doesn't revolve around us, contrary to what we might like to believe!! I try not to take things personally, not easy sometimes as I am very sensitive too and do read far more than I should into the things people say - reading between the lines when I should really just stick to the bold print!! But sensitivity is a good thing Sappy - I'd hate to be unfeeling - even though it might hurt less sometimes!!

LOL Gee ... now that is a scary thought ! : )

Gee ... I have so much to say about your comments, I could write another story! LOL. <br />
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You're not terrible at arguing, you just take a very rational approach to it. That works great in a debate but I think of "arguments" as heated battles. Emotions then tend to overrule reason. <br />
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I find cruel people often use sarcasm to take jabs at others while trying to avoid personal responsibility. I know I too often become defensive when hurt and have said things I lived to regret.<br />
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Finally, I agree with you about compliments. Repeating them numerous times, it may initially have a great impact. But there comes a point where it does become so watered down, the meaning is diminished. <br />
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The "I love you" is a tricky one isn't it? In part it's because we toss the word "love" around so freely in our daily lives, it takes on lesser meanings. I know people who say the words to their significant other many, many times in a day. Their thinking is, "if something should happen, I may not have another chance to say it". I can't deny that idea has some merit and if it works for them, who am I to disagree? But if you truly love someone and you've told them, it's in your actions towards them, your demeanor with them, the time you spend with them that reinforces that feeling. The person "knows" you love them. Constantly repeating the words, somehow dilutes them in my mind. So I'm with you on the "I love you's". I prefer to use it at times I think it's most needed. Now, that gives me another idea for a story ... lol.

I can relate so much to this story. I think words hurt us so deeply when we fear, or even know, they are the truth. I think (and hope) attaining unconditional self love can really help with healing the memory of cruel words. And I agree that there is a silver lining to experiencing emotional pain and fully acknowledging it: it allows us to learn how we want to be treated, and in turn how we should treat others. The truth is, not all humans are fragile hearted, but I think it's good to treat everyone else like they are :)

Gryfnn, thank you for your comments. In a way, I'm grateful for the memories I have of hurtful remarks. Knowing how it feels on the receiving end, it does remind me to be more sensitive to the feelings of others. Still, I've done my share of damage to others too. The best I can do today is try to think before I speak and to share a more positive outlook.

That was a very thoughtful and well written piece SS. Thank you for reminding me --you are so right--thoughtless and careless words can cut another person to the bone, I have said many stupid and silly things without thinking that my words might hurt someone...I still remember some cutting words from early childhood and they were probably just said thoughtlessly without intention to cause pain.....still we carry some of those thoughtless remarks in our memories clear into old's awful to think that some of MY careless words are seared into the memories of others.

Thank you Jo ... I'm just grateful when anyone reads what I write ... lol : )

Sappy, you inspire me!

Thanks Sis! Your words always mean a lot to me. : )