Gentle healing words are necessary to achieve healing rather than getting revenge. Whether it’s healing ourselves alone or healing a relationship as well, we must guard our tongues. When others hurt us it can be very hard to do this. We (especially those empathetics like me) tend to allow our emotions to control us rather than the other way around. Because we feel so deeply and big it is easy for those feelings to take over before we get a chance to think about it. Sometimes hurts cause us to retreat and stuff the feelings. We want to be careful not to hurt others in our hurt. So, especially if it is a re-occuring hurt or we have been retreating and stuffing for a while, take care.
While it’s very important that we talk about our feelings or things that have hurt us, HOW is just as important. I know I tend to retreat a lot, then one day it all blows up. Finding this balance is important. It is important to express our hurts and set our boundaries. Our ability to love big is protected as boundaries are set. Going to the other extreme, however, is unsafe for those around us.
Aim for healing
If we are aiming for healing then using cutting, shaming or excessively blaming words will not accomplish that. When we make sure to express our feelings, hurts and boundaries in gentle words we are using healing words. These gentle healing words are so important to our emotional safety and the health and safety of our loved ones.
One example of using gentle healing words is beginning phrases with “I feel” statements. Using “I” more than “you” is very helpful in letting the other person hear you well. They don’t feel attacked or blamed. Another way to do this is to say “When this situation occurs” instead of “when you do….or say…” Again, being gentle and not using blame words.
Being objective rather than assuming keeps your focus on reality too. This helps to temper the emotional reactions and help you to respond with more gentle healing words than you might have in the past. Focus on facts more than feelings.
Focusing on what you are actually able to control and are responsible for is freeing too. When you understand that you cannot control the other person or their responses it is easier to remain calm. You are able to control your response, how you internalize the situation and more. Use this control to keep communication flowing in gentle ways. Healing of your own heart happens this way, then healing the relationship becomes more likely too. It puts the ball in their court and frees you to love big. Loving yourself big gives you the room and freedom to love others big, even through the hurt.
Be gentle with yourself, set healing boundaries
When you are able to understand yourself, your triggers and your boundaries, communicating gently is easier. Understanding your own limits and what you need to keep emotionally healthy keeps the focus on what is needed rather than what someone else did. At this point you are more able to say “I love you. I want our relationship to be the best it can be. When (this situation occurs/these words are used) I feel (unsafe/hurt/unappreciated). If and when (this situation) occurs, I will (state the action that keeps you safe)”. This is the outline for boundary setting given by John Townsend. Using this outline makes things very clear and keeps too many emotional outbursts from happening.
Boundary setting is done best when done gently. It definately needs to be done at times, and it can be difficult. However, putting gentle healing words into practice will help give you the strength and clarity to do this well. Boundaries help you to do everything possible to heal the relationship while keeping yourself safe in whatever ways necessary.
We desire for others to give us grace in dealing with us and our feelings. Remembering this should help us to remember to give grace as well when we are expressing our needs. It helps to remember that other people may not be at the same place we are and may not regulate as well. “When you know better, do better, give yourself grace for when you didn’t know.” That is one of the best things I have learned from my friend Tina in the past couple years.
It’s important that while we should and can speak ABOUT our hurts, we should never speak FROM our hurts. Let’s use gentle, healing words with both ourselves and our loved ones.