Words don’t go easy

This is also me.

I never considered myself anything of an oil painting, to borrow an old phrase. In fact, if I was a character in an Agatha Christie novel I’d be considered “homely” rather than “comely”. And that’s okay. That’s me.

My six year old son, however, believes differently. He says to me yesterday “Mummy you’re SO pretty. Every single day I see how pretty you are”. The child is six. He knows how to lie (“No, Mummy, it wasn’t me who spilled all that water out of the bath. I’m sure it was Daddy”) but he has no idea how to lie well, so I have no choice to believe that what he says is – at least in his mind – true.

My son knows well the value of words and how good they can make you feel. This is why he says these things to me. He sat on my knee at the dinner table the other night while I read his school report out loud. It was his first “proper” report, with all the details and everything. It was wonderful, he’s a wonderful kid. But oh how I could feel the pride surge through that little body as I read words like “excellent”, “very good skills”, “well above the expected level”. He wriggled with joy, his smile about to split his face fully in two. I thought to myself that the next time he feels down I’ll have to read his school report to him again 🙂

Made me remember though just how powerful words can be, for good as well as for bad. I wrote in Monday’s post about a parcel of criticism that was delivered to me when I was young, and over the past few days I’ve realised what a forest of mighty oak trees grew from the little acorns in that parcel, from the words that I had no choice but to believe about myself. It feels good to look at those trees and know they are not part of me, and bulldoze them down. It makes me hyper-aware, too, of the language I’m speaking over my kids, especially when I’m mad at them.

My hair isn’t as red as the “me” in the painting, but my cheeks are. And yes, I do wear as dippy a face as that when I’m sucking the life out of the smell of roses. I’ve been teased about both of those things over the years, and thrown words that would try to mold me into somebody else’s idea of who I should be. Words don’t go easily, but I can get rid of them, and the thing I find is that when those mighty oak trees finally fall the ground where they were is rich and fertile for the me that I was all along underneath to grow.

 

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13 thoughts on “Words don’t go easy

  1. Megan Sayer…I would never, EVER use the word homely for you. I believe you are gorgeous. Yes, your face is pretty. Very pretty. And that beauty is amplified by your smiles and laughs and deep thoughts that you share so willingly.

    And this is a lovely post.

  2. I am supicious that your fishing for compliments on how really beautful you are…:) …. Yes words dont go easy, but to often people hold on to the wrong words for too long and let go of the good ones to early or forget them altogether…I think for some our psyche wants and lends itself to suffering more than joy and it doesn’t have to… you have to choose let in the good as well learning to letting go of the bad…love your posts….cya cute stuff…:)

    • Oh NO! Fishing? Seriously never entered my mind. Oh dear. No, I was being honest. Oh NO!!!
      However Philip you’re right that we tend to let go of the good words and hold onto the bad. I’ve noticed that in myself recently – I can’t believe how easily I do deflect positive words because they don’t line up with the negative ones I’m used to speaking/hearing over myself. It’s a challenge – and a good one.

  3. Loved both your posts this week. I think we have all been a victim of words at one time or another. It is something that makes me careful about the words I choose to use when I speak to people – although I’m sure I’ve stuffed up too. Just like James says – the tongue is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.

  4. I can just feel your son’s pride – the swell of the heart. Good for you for helping him feel so good. We get to choose the words we carry with us and what we allow ourselves to leave behind. Be well and strong and keep writing!

  5. Your post got me thinking in a different direction – directed by your son telling you that you’re pretty. When my daughter was a teen, we had friends who were about the age of her grandparents – probably in their 60’s. Martha was showing signs of aging, her skin had sun spots and wrinkles from years in the sun. She was also a bit overweight. My daughter said to me one day, isn’t Martha beautiful? All I could say was yes – because I knew that my daughter was seeing her inner beauty that shone through. I need to remind myself of this story frequently now that I’m in my 60’s. 🙂 Your son wasn’t lying – he sees your beauty.

    • Oh Pat that’s gorgeous. I love that, especially in a time when we’re all so bombarded with plastic magazine beauty, it’s so nice that real beauty still shines through.

      • With photoshop everyone and everything can be made to look perfect. We even want our fresh produce to look perfect . I hadn’t thought about it but what does this do to our sense of self when we know we are blemished. We try to hide it but then become inauthentic – lose our integrity. And what does that do to our relationship with God? I guess this is food for thought for some future posts for you to write. 🙂 I really appreciate your keen sense of observation and willingness to be transparent. What a blessing you are.

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