The Implosive Power of Words - Kathryn C. Lang

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The Implosive Power of Words

Words have power.

Take this down for your future reference. If the world, or any part thereof, suddenly implodes, then you can turn to point the blame directly at me. Just ask my family. It seems that no matter what the situation or who is involved, I somehow had the responsibility to keep it from happening, change the outcome or maneuver the situation so that the circumstances never occurred.

A trip this weekend brought back the blame game in full force. My husband ALWAYS blames me for any directional missteps during a trip. Some friends were telling me how they are never lost thanks to their GPS and laptop. I decided that I would make the most of my laptop for this adventure.

Directions were pulled up and we were on our way - after a slight costuming delay that I am sure was also my fault but did not stop to discover how it was my fault. Shortly into the trip I reminded my husband about an upcoming turn. The gaze that he threw at me singed my hair - at least it felt like it could have done that kind of damage. I said very little the rest of the trip - just giving the five year old updates about what to be looking out for so that he could keep himself entertained.

I did give directions. Stay on Highway 157.

Most of the trip I made use of my computer to try and get some work done - and to avoid any more singeing episodes.

It was during one of my updates to the five year old that I noticed we were closing in on Mississippi. Our trip was not to another state, so I immediately checked the map. "Um, I think we might have missed a turn." The glare was back.

It seems that if I tell my husband about a turn and he knows it is there then I am a back seat driver, but if I do NOT tell him about a turn and he misses it then I am a bad navigator.

It seems like a silly tale, but there is a point. Long before my husband could blame me for the directional mishaps, I was already blaming myself. I spend so much time saying things like, "what did I do this time," or, "it is always my fault," that I have started to believe I am responsible for all the mistakes our family endures.

Words matter - and I know that, but even knowing that words matter does not save me from slipping down the slope of self-condemnation. A little thing piles up on a little thing that piles up on a little thing and suddenly I am causing the world to implode.

Be careful what you say - you may just start to believe it.

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