Sunday, February 16, 2014

Words


I love words.

If you ever want to know what I am afraid of losing...pay attention to what I write about.

I love the way I can string together any number of words and they create feelings. Words can elicit anger, power, passion, or love. Words can encourage or motivate or inspire. Words can cut and hurt and tear apart. Rearrange the same words and the meaning changes. The intention changes.

Change the person reading the words and the words change.

It is magical.

Words can be personal. Something that I only write for myself. Never to be seen or shared. Call it venting or dumping or screaming with a pen (or keyboard, in this case)...these words can be beneficial.

I rarely write those kinds of words. Writing those kinds of words means admitting them. To myself. Admission can be difficult and cultivate feelings that are uncomfortable. Worthlessness. Anger. Guilt. Shame. Denial. Any combination of the above. I have these kinds of words, we all do, but I don't like to write them.

Words can invoke conversation with another person. We live in an age where texts trump phone calls and emails come before face to face. This is both amazing and damaging. I feel far more comfortable typing words into a faceless device, than I do using my voice. This can help me overcome fright and worry...but it also allows the possibility that I will hurt someone else. It is easier, right or wrong, to react to a situation negatively and without thinking, when I don't have to see the face of the person I am hurting.

Words, when shared with someone else, instantly make me vulnerable. Everything I write and share, is open to interpretation. I can't control how the party reading my words will understand them. I can't predict what they will associate them with, or the feelings and emotions that my words will elicit. That is challenging for me. It is hard for me to accept that my intention isn't always what is received by the reader.

I struggle between not wanting to share words and sharing too many. One of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes sums it up pretty well..."There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." There is no greater anguish than needing to give life to words, before they overcome you, but feeling unable.

Except, maybe...just maybe...when the words that you carefully give birth to...the words you unabashedly give away...do not extract the response that you intended. Maybe...that hurts more.


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