When I was six, my father reprimanded me for being a smart-ass. I was a sassy kid. I had a way with words. My words hurt. They inflicted wounds. I made my siblings and playmates cry just by using words. My words were powerful, I used them relentlessly. Mercilessly.
My father had enough. He pulled me aside one time and told me, “That tongue of yours will get you in trouble one day. Words come true. Beware.” He was so serious, it put the fear of God in me.
I stopped being sassy.
I never talked back to anyone again.
I never spoke ill of anyone again lest they come true.
But words have always been my comfort. I could never live without words. I make a living out of manipulating words. I can make people believe in something. I can make them cry. I can make them laugh.
Words can destroy. Keep telling a child he’s such a failure and he’d be a failure as an adult. Keep telling yourself that you are worthless and no one would really see your worth.
Ever wonder why wishing someone a great deal of misfortune usually come true? It is not us. It is our words, spoken with such anger and conviction that they are believed. That is how our words manifest into reality. My father was right.
But words can heal too. We must learn to choose our words wisely. Words are our confirmation to the world of how we see others, our lives and ourselves. They are the paint with which we paint our reality.
That is why instead of constantly saying how worthless or how miserable you are, say something like, “I am improving. I am learning to value myself.” After all, isn’t that how we really want others to perceive us?
Be mindful of our words.
This piece was originally written by Rose Tan.