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Thursday, September 3, 2015

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go

Word Power

I know I'm controlling, but so is my husband. Possibly more controlling than I am. Each time I set out to leave him, each time I started to walk away, he knew exactly what to say to pull me back in. And he knew I'd respond. He knew how to say exactly what I needed to hear to keep me where he wanted me. He knew what he was doing, and he knew what I would do. I know, because after we began recovering, he told me so.
  —Anonymous

Some of us are so vulnerable to words.

A well timed "I love you." A chosen moment for "I'm sorry." An excuse delivered in the right tone of voice. A pat on the head. A dozen roses. A kiss. A greeting card. A few words that promise love that has yet to be delivered can spin us into denial. Sometimes, it can keep us denying that we are being lied to, mistreated, or abused.

There are those who deliberately set out to sway us, to control and manipulate us through cheap talk! They know, they fully understand our vulnerability to a few well-timed words! Break through your naivete. They know what they're doing. They understand their impact on us!

We do not have to give such power to words, even though the words may be just what we want and need to hear, even though they sound so good, even though the words seem to stop the pain.

Sooner or later, we will come to realize that if behavior doesn't match a person's words, we are allowing ourselves to be controlled, manipulated, and deceived. Sooner or later, we will come to realize that talk is cheap, unless the person's behavior matches it.

We can come to demand congruency in the behavior and the words of those around us. We can learn to not be manipulated, or swayed, by cheap talk.

We cannot control what others do, but we can choose our own behaviors and our own course of action. We do not have to let cheap, well-timed talk control us - even if the words we hear are exactly what we want to hear to stop our pain.

Today, I will let go of my vulnerability to words. God, help me trust myself to know the truth, even when I am being deceived. Help me cherish those relationships where there is congruity. Help me believe I deserve congruity and truth in the behavior and the words of those I care about.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the publisher.

 

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