By Ángela López

Words caress sweetly or strike cruelly, that is a fact. A couple of years ago someone told me that, "Although I thought I was intelligent, in reality I was not" and, moreover, "I was a weak woman.”  I don't deny that these were difficult words to assimilate, however, I questioned internally those statements. Were they absolute truths what this person was saying, or were they simply comments from someone who wanted to hurt my self-esteem? By asking myself this question, in a way, I took away someone's power to pollute my thoughts. 

I imagine that you too have gone through similar situations where you have had to challenge the blatant and malicious opinions of others.  Each of us has tasted a "you're great" as well as a "you are not valuable.”  Paradoxically, many times, it is not necessarily someone around us who can hurt us with their statements, but it is we ourselves who mistreat ourselves psychologically during those endless internal dialogues.

When a person loves you, you can see it in their look, you can feel it in their caresses, you can hear it in their words, and you can confirm it by their deeds. This is what I call "the complete package.”  If any ingredient is missing, I dismiss the veracity of that professed love for me.  Likewise, this applies to the relationship we have with ourselves.  If you claim to feel self-love, then of the approximately 414,800 words in the Oxford English Dictionary, how many do you know that refer positively to yourself? And, how many do you know to refer disparagingly about yourself?

The adjectives we use to represent ourselves reflect the way we see the world. This means that if you define yourself as "incapable", then for you, others will be, as you judge yourself internally, a bunch of "inept".  But if, on the other hand, you use the adjective "talented" to describe who you are, you will probably begin to see talent in other people. So, respecting your religious belief or not, I share with you a powerful phrase I found in the gospel of Matthew 12:34, "...out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” 

The freedom to express ourselves ends when the self-esteem of others begins. It is not "humane" to spew expressions of hatred towards others, for this is just another disguise for violence. And remember, such rudeness begins with yourself, if you self-harm, you will not offer the world one more joy, but you will inflict one more wound. However, if in spite of having a loving vision of yourself and your environment, you still feel abused… Keep your fragrance in spite of the stench! Never give up your own beauty for the offensive interpretations of those around you.

I dedicate this little tale to those who feel burdened by the cruelty of others:

In the magical kingdom of Innerland, the annual ball of emotions and feelings took place. On the carpet, Envy stood out for wearing a bright yellow long dress which, coincidentally, was the same as Kindness. Hate, as usual, distilled its venom everywhere. However, the one who perplexed guests and spectators alike was Hope, who had changed her traditional green color for black. Curiosity, living up to her name, asked her: "Hope, are you sick? She smilingly replied: no, I simply dressed in the night so that she would never lose me in the middle of her darkness.”



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