Letting Go of the Hurtful Words We Hold On To

I believe there is power and strength in letting go of the deathly words we bury deep inside of us. It’s unfortunately too easy to find ourselves in a rhythm of negative self-talk, of constantly comparing ourselves to everyone around us and ignoring the things we truly struggle with.

We can forget that there are nasty words and ideas and feelings we harbor inside. We let ugly, untrue words about our worth and other people and real words of anger and jealousy and desperation become comfortable, allowing them in like a parasite, sitting and festering and becoming more toxic the longer we ignore the reality of their presence.

These words have a way of feeding into our souls, protruding deeper until we believe they were always there. We start to believe it’s natural for us to feel this muted bitterness and rage towards ourselves and those around us. These words find their way deep beyond the surface, nestling and finding home where they shouldn’t be welcome.

They start to constrain our souls, crowding the spaces where our passions and capacity for love and forgiveness and our known need for Jesus reside.

These nasty, repressed words and ideas and grudges take over, convincing us that there is no other way to live than to let them sit and sink deeper into our hearts and minds, eventually persuading us that we, too, are nasty and gross and unworthy. These words convince us that those around us deserve more than we do because their struggles seem bigger and need to take precedent over our own, that ours aren’t that bad, that ours can be ignored.

But by ignoring these words, by ignoring the struggles of negative self-talk and the constant comparisons and the justification of the unrighteous, we start to lose part of ourselves. We become numb to what matters, to our passions and skills and desires because we are too busy trying to bury and hide the nasty things we think towards ourselves and about others. We’re trying too hard to mask what we feel and believe deep in our souls, the words of death that suffocate and cover up the truth that is trying so desperately to break through.

But once we let these words surface, to let them come through letters typed on a page or screaming in an empty room or a really good conversation with a trusted friend, we can start to believe that we don’t need to hold on to these things anymore. That we actually cannot, for the life of us, hold on to them anymore.

We start to believe that these words are not true.

God asks us to move on from our sin, from our pasts, from the comparisons and jealousies and injustices we were convinced were truth. God is in the new space He calls us to, but He’s also with us on the way there, pushing and encouraging us keep going, to keep refining and uncovering all the hurtful and gross words. He needs to hear the lies we believe, He needs us to recognize them and whisper them and scream them and write them so He can throw them far away like He promised. He needs us to move, to cut the nasty thoughts and words out of our souls because they can’t be there anymore.

By lifting up the negative words, we start to make room for words of life. Our souls become less crowded, less complicated. They’re able to breathe again. Letting go of these words allows us to move on past the bitterness, past the jealousy and hatred and anger. Letting go allows us to make space for words that matter, words of passion and desire and the truth that we are loved deeply by a really good Father.

Letting go is a hard process, one where our hearts are stretched and molded and hurting from integrating both the loss of what we’ve harbored for so long and the expansion of the new finding its place. It’s a constant cycle of loss and growth, trading back and forth as we learn to live differently, as we learn to simplify our lives in the best ways. But this tension is good. In this tension of learning to let go we find the life we need to live, the one where we are aware of our passions and worth and we are free to allow Jesus to use us as He needs.




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