There is a monster inside of me. It feeds on my thoughts and on the words of others. I need to slay it habitually, but sometimes its ghost lingers. I’ve built it in my mind until it towers over everything I ever want or hope for and my words die before they even reach my throat.
There are those who are always trying to kill my words. In doing so, they try to kill me. What am I without my words?
I only ever had my words. With my words, I could make them look at me, even if it was for just one moment. With my words, I could fight back. Words are me and I am them. Who I was. Who I am. Who I want to be. They define me in a way few things do.
Most importantly, they are mine. They trip over themselves and some are added only for the sake of sound, but they’re mine. Mine mine mine. I am not greedy anymore. I give them freely.
I can choose whether to give them to you or not. If I do, then you either throw them at my feet, stomp on them, and laugh at the remnants of my heart or save them for a different time, either to treasure them or throw them back in my face. If I do not, then you continue as if nothing has happened and my words grow and grow until they drown my lungs.
People keep ignoring the signs and feeding the monster. Sometimes it’s on purpose. They’re trying to shut me up, especially when I disagree or try to correct them. Especially if it’s on the internet. Almost everyone tosses their words about on internet. They are worth nothing there. Many people either don’t see the person or they don’t care. Either way they’re careless and it would serve them right if their words dry up in their throat just when they need it the most. It’s wrong of me to think that, but I think it’s true.
If you don’t value your words, then they will fail you.
There were times I did not value my words and then they failed me. I gave unwanted words to others. I gave words that were misunderstood. I gave words for lack of better ones. Sometimes it’s my fault. Sometimes it isn’t.
My failures linger like ghosts.
I’m so thin skinned sometimes. It’s pathetic, but negative words echo in my mind. Especially when the monster is hungry. Whenever I decide to speak up again, it opens its large, gaping maw and shouts them at me, over and over again until I feed it with the harsh words I give to myself. Later, when I am with others and want to say I want to go home or can’t do this because I am too busy, I remember the words people say to me.
I hesitate, say nothing, and try not to choke from my inaction.
Do you know how valuable your words are? They are part of who you are. Who you were. Who you could be. You build yourself when you give your words. When you think them. When you act on them. That’s why it hurts when you give them to somebody and they ignore them or treat them cruelly. That’s why you like it when someone takes them carefully from you, cradling it because they find them valuable.
On second thought, that’s not all you are is it? That’s not the entire picture.
Your actions matter too.
You don’t know how much your words will affect people. You don’t know how much they haunt others. You don’t know how much they feed monsters. How every time you say something cruel, you yourself become just a bit crueler.
You decide to fling those words. You decide not to say those words. You decide to throw words away or keep them close. Those are your decisions. Words and actions are intertwined. Together, they build your character.
I would know. I try so hard. I try to get people to open their minds and consider different perspective. I try to meet others in the middle. I try to listen and see people as they really are. I try try try, but I’m petty. I’m passive aggressive sometimes. I’m stubborn.
I worry too much about others and their welfare, but forget to recognize that they might do things differently, see things differently, and that it’s ok. I push myself to conform into my idea of perfection, twisted by all the conflicting expectations hanging over me.
Sometimes I want to snap at people, to hurt them like they’ve hurt me. It’s human. It’s natural. I still don’t want it. I’ve told myself that I don’t want to be like those people so I try to be consistent. I try to recognize my own weaknesses and wrong doings. I try to be better, more than I am. I closed my mouth and softened my tongue for that very reason.
Why did I do that?
There is a limit to how much an person can take. Rude words were thrown at me and instead of throwing it away, I treasured them more than they deserved. Not all words are made equal. Some are garbage. Some are more precious than all the diamonds on earth. Most are in between.
Sometimes I forget how different we all are. I gave more thought and value to some of these words than they deserved. Other times, I gave them exactly the amount care they deserved. Knowing exactly how much value to assign to words is a kind of wisdom as well.
It’s one I’ve finally started to learn.
There is a monster inside of me. It is named Anxiety and it is gluttonous and overweight. From here on out, it’s going on a diet.