Bad Blood and Better Words.

Power of Words

I am officially a Taylor Swift fan.

1989 is an incredible album and you can judge me all you want for loving it, I’m judging myself a little bit. But seriously, she wrote her heart out and I love every single song.

One in particular that I jam out to is called Bad Blood. It’s pretty self explanatory. Someone (maybe a guy, maybe a friend) has betrayed her to an unfix-able point.

We’ve all been there.

She says it quite well when she says “Band aid’s don’t fix bulletholes.”

Damn, Tay.

When I heard that line, it really got me thinking – how powerful of a role the people around us play in our lives.

And even more than who they are in our lives, what they say about us matters even more. We see ourselves through the people around us. If they love things about us, if they hate things about us, whatever they think about us shapes and defines the way we see ourselves.

Their words hold power. A lot of power.

But to go even farther, everyone’s words have power. Celebrities, bloggers, bullies, teachers, that guy on the side of the street, everyone’s words have the power to shape our lives for the good and the bad.

When I was in 7th grade, I was on AIM chatting with my friends. When a little chat bubble popped up from a guy in my grade. This guy was a jerk then and remained one all through high school. I had no interest in keeping conversation with him but for some reason he felt the need to message me this evening.

He said (and I will never forget this), “You could use some butter with those rolls.”

I don’t think I had ever even thought about being fat up until that point. I mean I knew I wasn’t as skinny as the other girls in my class but I wasn’t obese or anything. I remember saying something like “yeah well you’re a butt head and you smell” – probably really hit him in the jugular, you know. I then logged off aim and went upstairs.

I didn’t cry or anything because I really didn’t care about this dude but for the rest of my life I would think about his words. I would think, “well if he thinks I’m fat, who else notices? Is there something wrong with me?”

Heck I’m 25 years old and I still remember a conversation from when I was 13. 

Words have power.

Especially the ones we choose to speak about other people. 

Relationships are repaired and torn apart by words. We’ve all had that one girlfriend who keeps getting back with the jerk guy because of what he says to her. Words matter.

I once worked with an organization that wanted to call their orphanage a village and a family because if a child grows up thinking it’s an orphan, it will believe that but it if believes it’s part of a family, it will be part of a family.

The words that other people use to describe us, to tell us how we matter, to tell us what we can’t see for ourselves…these words change us.

In the same way that words can thrust us into greatness, words can also create wounds that sometimes nothing can heal.

Also, let’s talk about the phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” – UHM I CALL SERIOUS BS. 

I would rather be punched in the gut than have someone I love hurt me with their words. Psychological wounds, in comparison to physical wounds, take much longer to heal (if they ever even do).

Like TSwift says, “band aid’s don’t fix bulletholes.”

We as humans, have the power to shape people’s lives. As my life guru and (hopefully one day) friend Bob Goff says, “maybe we should start being pickier about what we say.”

Maybe we don’t always need to say exactly what we are thinking. Maybe we don’t need to tell every person what’s wrong with them and where they fail.

Maybe we just need to tell people how wonderful they are, how great they look today, or how much we love that smile of theirs.

Maybe instead of talking about people, we talk with people. 

Maybe instead of discussing other’s life choices, we make choices on how we can change the world.

Maybe we start using our words to heal the world, instead of hurting it.

Often times, choosing to speak love instead of hate happens in a milisecond. Your mouth begins to speak before your brain even knows what’s happening.

Your words hold more weight than you realize.

Stop holding back the love that you can give to the world. Use up all the love you’ve got today, you will get more tomorrow.

xo,

Crissy

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Doubt and Freedom.

This weekend I spent two days at a conference called Storyline. Storyline is about helping people find their story and reminding them that their story is already beautiful. It is a reminder of not only how to find what your story looks like but how to help you tell that story to everyone you know.

They asked this question multiple times, “What will people miss if you don’t tell the world your story?”

This struck me the first time I heard it on Thursday and it strikes me again today.

I’ve been walking through an interesting time in my life. I’ve been doubting.

Doubting anything and everything. I’ve never doubted that Jesus was good or that He even existed but I’ve been doubting pretty much everything else.

And in the midst of all that doubt, I felt fear. I was scared. I was scared of what other people might say, I was scared of what people might think of me, and I was scared of people leaving.

And to be honest, people have thought things, said things, and left.

This time of doubt isn’t over but my fear is.

I’m done being scared of people. I’m done being scared of what people think. I’m done being scared of people leaving.

You know why? Because the people who stick around when your life gets muddy are the only ones who deserve to be around when your life (seems because it never is) clean and clear.

This time of doubt has been frustrating for me. I haven’t figured out the origin of the doubt, the purpose of the doubt, or the destination of it.

I’ve been all, “GOD WHERE IS THIS GOING AND WHY?”

Doubt is like that. It really pushes you to your limits. And unfortunately only people who have trudged through this mud can relate.

I’ve finally decided to embrace the doubt. To not only recognize it but work through it.

I’M NOT AFRAID ANYMORE.

Blind faith is not faith. I’m sorry if that offends you. But I don’t want to follow Jesus because I’ve been brainwashed to follow Jesus or because my friends follow Jesus.

I want to follow him because I love him and I trust His commands. There are a lot of people who are intimidated by this thinking. They think how can you question any of this? How dare you not think exactly like us and do things exactly the way we do?

And you know what, those people are scared too. They are scared of the unknown. They are scared of a faith that might look different from theirs.

In this season of doubting, I’ve felt intense shame and isolation. I’ve felt like I wasn’t allowed to feel anymore. I wasn’t allowed to work through anything anymore. That I was supposed to become some robot that does what people say even if I don’t agree with them.

But after this weekend, I AM FREE.

I am free to walk through this without condemnation because Jesus wasn’t about that life. He didn’t judge people based on their questions, He loved them with His answers.

You know what Jesus did? He broke bread with them, He talked to them, and He loved them.

HE LOVED THEM.

What a concept. That we can be a part of someone’s life without telling them how they should live but just by loving them.

Bob Goff said something that will resonate with me forever. He said “people don’t want to be told what to do, people want to be told who they are.”

I finally know who I am. Because I just spent 2 days with 2,000 other people who were reminded who they are.

This doesn’t mean I have all the answers but this does mean that I have a plan.

I want to love people fearlessly and recklessly.

I want people to look at me and only see grace, hope, and love.

I want people to reminded of who they are when they are with me and I want them to know that who they are is beautiful. No adding or subtracting, they are beautiful.

I want people to feel like they are enough every time we have a conversation. I want them to never feel less when they are around me.

I want to be the kind of person that always makes room for other people to feel free.

If you are doubting anything in your life – your faith, your job, your relationship, your purpose – THAT’S OKAY. Never accept the status quo as the norm. Always question. Always ask for more out of life.

You know why?

Because YOUR STORY MATTERS. You matter. You deserve to have an incredible life and sometimes that means questioning the norm and embracing the tension.

Just imagine this scenario today. What if all birds didn’t fly? What if they could but they didn’t? What if one bird wanted to fly but all of the others thought of this concept as stupid and then shamed the bird in question? What if the bird let other bird’s standard for life define theirs?

This bird, who was created to FLY, didn’t fly because of the other birds following the status quo.

We were created to fly. Go and fly, friend.

stock-footage-shadow-of-an-birds-flying-to-the-sun-by-red-sunset-over-the-ocean

And if you need some encouragement and some hugs, I will be glad to meet you for coffee and squeeze that gorgeous neck of yours.

Be loved and free today,

Crissy