Friday, January 27, 2023

Words Matter

As a steady drip of water on rock creates a depression,
reshaping stone,
your words heard over and over,
over decades, 
dug into my heart:
You aren’t enough.
   I’m better than you.
      No one else will take care of you.

Spoken often, implied always by your arrogance,
I shrank and withered under their weight,
under the judgment, until it seemed 
my heart broke open.

Whispered softly, words of healing came from elsewhere,
found a way in, hard to hear, hard to believe, yet unretreating,
persistent, falling into the break and lodging
in the heart.
Growing imperceptibly, gaining strength enough 
to counter your negative words.

Growing, as other voices sang them over me.
Growing, until I could hear them 
and believe them 
instead of the lies
you told.
Growing, until they crowded out your words
and sang with every heartbeat:
You are beloved.
   You are appreciated.
      You are enough.

I may always bear the scars of your words
but they won’t rule my life.
I live by other words now,
words that give life,
words that give love.