“Sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me.”
Let’s skip over the “sticks and stones” bit for the moment. That’s for another day.
Names can never hurt me.
Wouldn’t that be a wonderful way to live?
That’s how we all used to live when we were very young, before we learned a language. There was awareness and perception of sound, light, touch and physical sensations. There was crying, shaking and smiling, but no words and no emotional pain. They might cry at the loud noise of a shout but a baby can’t be offended or hurt by the words that are spoken.
Then we learned our name and were taught that we are separate from everyone else. We were taught the meaning of lots of words and which ones were supposed to hurt us.
Then one day someone said something to us and this thought came into our head: “They said something nasty. They hurt me.” Then a surge of emotion begins. That is the beginning of emotional pain that can visit us again and again; sometimes for a lifetime. I’m sure you recognise it.Continue Reading →