WHAT ARE WORDS

Credits: Nicole Lim @ jesuistigerlily

For someone who’s always loved writing, you have a way of making me form a slight and unnerving hatred for it. You disrespect my art by saying that the words that letter my pages are insulting. You say that my words are vile and dirty, unfit for your eyes. You allow someone else to further pull me down by changing my words and by putting them into my mouth. Who are you to know what I think? Who are you to say things on behalf of me? I am my own person, I am my own being, I am my own words. I take offence because you no longer treat me human, when you are the same as me – blood and flesh cut open to reveal the same red liquid and the same pain.

Your words are sharp and hurtful – almost too much to bear. Almost.

I realise one thing from all this.

It is not me. It is you. Totally, and wholly you.

My words allow people to feel things they never knew they could. My words allow people to realise that they are not alone in this world. My words have touched people in ways you never knew. And you will never know. Because your heart is hardened and cold. Because life has not been kind to you. Because you cannot accept what is. Because you cannot let go of your own ego.

You abuse your words. You use words to inflict pain to those around you. You use words to boost your own self-worth and gratification. And in a weak attempt to bring me down, you used your words to hurt me. Even though I have no power nor strength to fight against you, I still win.

You used your words to shape my thinking about my own words. But I rise above them.

I take your words into my stride. I welcome your advice. I accept your harsh criticism. All because I want to be a better writer, and a better person. Touché my friend, for all the times you told me off. But I do not acknowledge your opinion that my writing is insulting. You are, after all, someone who does not understand the power of words. I do. I understand how words can cut through like a samurai sword and kill everything in its path. Words can stir up hatred, bring about war, split oceans and destroy people. Do you even realise the severity of each word?

You were someone that I was meant to respect. But no more.

Now, I owe you nothing. We are but a mere memory in each other’s lives.

But I wish to tell you this.
Be kind.
Be thoughtful.
Be gracious.

Confidence and arrogance can be two different things but my friend, do not be confused between them. A loose step can see you falter and tumble between the cracks. Treat others the way you expect them to treat you, and some forms of respect is to be earned. You may be older but I am wiser. For realising that the world is crazy place; for looking within and reflecting on my actions; for admitting my mistakes. I too, am human. I too, have abused my words before. We are not perfect and we will never be. But that is no excuse to not try to be a better human being.

I will try to be better. I will try to write better. I will try to grow in wisdom.

Thank you for telling me that my writing insults you.
Thank you for allowing me to learn that I cannot please everyone.
And lastly, thank you for teaching me to not give up – especially when someone tells me I’m not good enough.
Because the truth is this – that I am good enough.

x

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