First off, holy goodness, is Ed Sheeran’s new album amazing or what? I’m completely obsessed (not that it takes much for me to get a new obsession.) All his songs are so simple but beautiful in that way – the best music for relaxing and de-stressing. So far, my favourite songs are What Do I Know?, Perfect, and at the top of my list, Happier. Honestly, he makes the ultimate wedding songs. Too bad it’s likelier to convince Ed Sheeran to sing at my wedding than to convince some poor guy to marry me.
Anyways, as you can probably guess from the title, I had a very strange (and possibly enlightening?) experience recently.
Do weird things only happen to weird people?
Near my place, there’s some nice trails through the forest where I like to go for walks with my dog. It’s actually a pretty nice place other than the occasional heart-stopping run-ins with coyotes and cougars and bears, oh my. I’m not kidding – one time I accidently got so close to a bear that I could’ve re-enacted that scene in The Revenant. But that’s a story for another time…
So there I was, admiring the frosted trees and frozen creeks when I ran into a little old lady whom I’ve never seen before. (I really should watch where I’m going, I could probably avoid most of these encounters.) Naturally, because my horribly awkward self is terrible at small-talk, I just kept going, but she interrupted me:
“What’s your name, dear?”
“Uhhghk,” I said. (I’m the epitome of grace and eloquence.)
“Names are a powerful thing, dearie,” she smiled mysteriously. “I can tell a lot from one’s name. It’s our connection to the spiritual realm. Your past, your present, your future – it’s all in a name.”
She actually said that. So I did what I always do – laugh politely and start running the other way.
But she stopped me again before I could peacefully disappear. “Words in general hold a lot of power. Be careful with your words. They can hold so much meaning, more than you think.”
And then she cackled and ran deep into the woods. I never saw her again.
Okay, so she didn’t run into the forest, I’m exaggerating a little. She was actually a very nice lady and obviously not a witch. Now that I think about it, I wonder if she got home safe. But hey, the whole conversation still pretty bizarre.
That got me thinking, though. Words are more than just semantics and phonemes and vibrations in our vocal chords. We can say a lot between the lines, and as unique as people are, their interpretations are equally as unique. And sometimes, our words hurt. Whether we meant it or not.
For people who say “I just say it how it is”, stop. Just stop. Think about what you are saying and think about the impact of your words. Just because you think it doesn’t mean you have to say it.
It’s like when people say that you shouldn’t care what other people think. Personally, I don’t think that’s always necessarily true. You should care about what the right people think about the right things, otherwise you turn into a self-centered narcissist who doesn’t care about anyone else’s feelings but your own .
Maybe the old lady was a little crazy, but what she told me was true: We should be cautious and mindful when it comes to the words we say to each other.