The power of words. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me” … LIES. 

My worst injury ever was after I decided to try sleeping and driving at the same time. IT DOESN’T WORK. Apparently, vision and cognition are necessary to manipulate a curve while moving at a rate of 45-55 miles per hour in a sweet Buick Regal. 

Sticks and stones broke my bones.

Just to be clear about this being the worst injury of my life thus far: I was life-flighted from the scene of the accident and spent a week in ICU. The memory is very real, but the pain is gone. I am not groaning every day from my injury 20 years ago. As a matter of fact, right after the accident, I was back at my daily routine after just a few days in ICU and about 9 weeks of “taking it easy.” 

But names will never hurt me.

It’s just not true. I have a lot of names piled up that hurt me for a long time. I stored the words of the people I looked up to, the people that I loved, and even pure strangers. I had insecurities built up like a wall because of the words that were tossed at me in my most vulnerable states. Words that built a wall brick by brick.

Stitches, band-aids, casts, surgery, etc. can fix the fury of sticks and stones. On the other hand, healing the brokenness of words is much more difficult. The pain of words hurt more. Way more. They last longer, and they follow us into every crack and crevice of life.  

We can reverse and retrain the hurt of words by simply choosing the right words to say. Start saying the right words to each other—every day—it matters. The right words are like an emotional jackhammer to our souls; it breaks apart the years of crud.