Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Voice of the Heart

"Words are the voice of the heart." Confucius

I thought I was bad, wrong, unworthy of anything good....Over and over my parents called me garbage, idiot, stupid. They told me I was worthless and deserved nothing. They ridiculed everything about me - the way I walked - the way I talked - and what I did. I believed what they said. Their words became the voice of my heart. I lived them. I ran on them.

The power of their words led me into situations that almost killed me. The power of their words took me down a path of self-destruction. They became ingrained in my spirit. They became a part of who I was. I couldn't shake them.

I didn't know they were lies. I had heard them so often I accepted them as truth.

I think words have energy - a power in them that can lift beyond what I think I'm capable of or they can bring me to down to the lowest edge of life.

My parent's words took me deep into darkness - drugs, eating disorder, self-harm. They led me into dangerous situations - situations like being held and raped. Their words became the fuel for my self-hatred, the fuel that drove me to descend deeper and deeper into pain.

Somehow though, God broke through the darkness. I learned the words my parents had told me were lies. Lies that had become so cemented inside me I couldn't shake free of them. Even though I knew they were lies they continued to gnaw at me, tearing at me inside until I had to rip my arms or throw up to relieve their pull to tear me down.

Those words have been the hardest to fight - the hardest to overcome.

Words - I want to be careful to use my words to speak kindness, gentleness and peace. I want to be careful to use my words to empower others and to never tear down anyone or make them feel less than who they are.


Denise said...

I praise God that you use your words to uplift, instead of tear down. Bless you sweetie.

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Your final paragraph says a lot. While our parents may do much to tear us down (and outright abuse us), we do NOT have to continue that relationship with our own children or with our friends.

ellie said...

Hi, Sarah! Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice comment! I'm glad you did....because it prompted me to visit yours...and I sit here marveling at the blessing of your transparency. Your writing is wonderful....and what you've shared here is so true. Thank you!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Hi, Sarah!

My dad always said that the biggest lie in the world was, "sticks and stones might break my bones but words will never hurt me". They have the power to hurt or to restore. The fact that you've made a conscious decision to build up shows you love for him!

Susan said...

I've been reading a very good book about this subject. It's called 'Telling Yourself The Truth' by William Bachus and Marie Chapian. It's written from a Christian perspective.
I completely agree with you - Words are powerful!!!

Andrea said...

I am praising GOD with you for HIS breaking through the darkness and revealing the "truth."
You are beautiful inside and out. GOD now resides and reigns in your heart and will continue to use you beyond your comprehension. He has great plans for you and yours. He is already changing the world through your voice.
Much love, hugs, prayers, and blessings, andrea

Madison said...

It goes without saying that you weren't blessed with the best parents. That you are rising to break the pattern will help everyone in your family from this point on.

Wanda's Wings said...

What you say is so true. Sometimes people live a life time never finding the truth. What God says we are.

RCUBEs said...

You're right about finding out that there is power in the words we speak. The Bible warns us about that from Proverbs 18:21 - "Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit—you choose.." [The Message].

I'm glad the Spirit gave you that discernment and exposed those lies. I pray that you will continue to grow in the Lord's grace and knowledge. With His strength, you can overcome...

Blessings to you.

nannykim said...

So true...unfortunately we don't always know how our words will be understood or misunderstood. I realize this often happens with the written word because you can't hear inflections and see body language. Also as weak human beings we don't often say what we mean.....and sometimes because of our hearts we say things we shouldn't. Words are so powerful--something to really think about.

Just Be Real said...

I totally believe there is power in words, good and bad.

I am praising God He was able to break through the darkness and your heart heard that you were told lies from you parents!

Words can either kill or heal! So glad you are choosing to be careful of the words you speak. Something we all should be aware of. Thank you dear one for this reminder and post! Blessings to you and yours!

Jane said...

When God spoke, the creation came into being. Our words also carry a degree of creative power, whether for better or for worse. What we speak not only affect the hearers, but the speaker too. You can't feel kind when you speak harshly or impatiently... Yes, for you, thank God you've the wisdom not to follow your parents' footsteps, yes, choose to speak carefully, may the Lord bless you. :)

Fire Byrd said...

Thank you for stopping by. You'd have to travel a long way to see all those trees as they are all in different places in England!
I'm glad you are on the road to recovery and finding self esteem. As a human being I know how tough that is, and as a therapist I spend my working life trying to help people find it.
Good luck on your journey.

HeartfeltHeartLook said...

Sarah, it makes me sad to see that you had to endure this from your parents, of all people. I am humbled to see our heavenly Father reached beyond all of that and let you see who He sees in you ~ His precious child! You have a sweet and loving spirit Sarah. It's evident from your writing alone. God bless you sweetheart!

Wonderingsoul said...

Dear Sarah,
Although it feel almost like hypocrisy for me to be quoting the bible, your last paragraph about words reminded me of a verse I was once struck by.
I can't remember where it is but I have a feeling it might be Jeremiah where it says something to the effect that, "If you utter worthy, not worthless words, you will be my (God's) spokesman"
and i remember thinking 'wow. That would be quite something'.


Marj aka Thriver said...

Wow. This is a great post, Sarah. I had never read it before. I'm glad it's been included in this month's BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE so I had another chance to read it. I can so relate to this same type of experience. I have to be honest; I am still working on some of these self-esteem issues. The power of words IS, indeed, amazing. Let's remember to use it for good. Thanks for sharing and for being you. *hugs*

Patricia Singleton said...

Sarah, thank you so much for sharing this with Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. I too believe that words have a lot of power to hurt or to uplift us and others.