Friday, March 6, 2009

The Weight of Words

You know how there are just somethings that people can't say to you or about you without getting upset? I have a few--one is saying I don't care about my students, but the bigger ones are anything about weight and/or food. The weight and food ones come from years of well intentioned comments from family about what I should be or shouldn't be eating and of course the comparisons to my skinny, beautiful, popular cheerleader sister of mine. I love my sister so much but it was hard going through high school and into my early 20s with that competition.(Of course she will tell you of the impossible standards I set for her in school with both our parents and teachers). Last night an innocent jokey comment sent me reeling with feelings of insecurity about my weight and looks. Isn't it amazing how a few words can do that.

Now words have a positive weight too. A student of mine told me yesteday that I teach my subject better than any teacher teaches theirs--quite a compliment coming from an 8th grader. Another student who I had made a big deal about in class about his improvement came to me afterschool and thanked me for saying those things about him. I have to remember more often the impact my words have.

3 comments:

Once A Bride said...

people always remember the negative more than the positive. that's why it's so important to lay it on thick with the positivity. :)

WanderingJennie said...

Those things can cut so deep...I've always thought it was one of the first questions a girl asks about herself: "Am I beautiful?" Of course, other questions follow, but this is one of the first, asked in our youngest, most impressionable years. We tend to "get our answers" from those who are closest to us-we reason they are the closest to us, so they must know. We also tend to think that people are most likely truthful when they are being critical, and that's why negativity holds so much strengh. We assume compliments are hiding an agenda, and criticisms are "just being honest". I don't know about you, but as I got older, it seems to be the reverse more and more!
Without enough mindfulness of what's going on, it can set us up for life. No one ever teaches us, as little girls, to ask ourselves if everything said about us is true or worthy before we let it in. And now, sometimes we have to work doubly hard to load and unload everything we let in as children. Because the truth is, all of us, and every second we are given, are perfect in all our progress. We are beautiful on the outside, not because of physical symmetry or thinness, but because we are vibrating with enough life energy to light up a city for a week. The magnetic field that we create around ourselves when we love means we really are the magical princesses we always wanted to be......

I guess you struck a chord with me too! Great post! Besides, you know you're hot! And so does someone else...you know...that guy that you're married to ;).

Karen said...

Oh Amy! You are such a beautiful woman and I think Kevin would agree with me! I hated following you in high school.. you always set the bar so high and when I didn't quite measure up, it was always, if your sister could get an A why can't you! Love you tons, Karen