Messages have always drawn my attention. Earth and humanity emanate communication in so many forms. Earth with its storms and volcanoes, its peaceful sunsets and calming meadows. Humanity with its groanings and turmoil.
No matter what we do, communication is unavoidable. Silence is a message and often a loud one. We even send a message when we are sleeping. The message is: "I'm sleeping". it's probably just not reaching a lot of people.
You send and receive hundreds of messages everyday, not including your cell phone. Your smile. Your frown. What you wear. What you eat. What you drink. What you say and how you say it. What you do. Wow, that list is exhausting but not at all complete. Let's face it, you are communicating every second of the day. I’m sure there is a science for “message sending”, it would be called "Messageology". Whatever it is, I'm all about it even if it's sort of a "nerdy" study.
Observe messages we and others send. Notice if they are directed at the Value Box or Ego Box. With practice this will become second nature to you, mostly because you are just a really cool person!
Let’s not forget the science of “message receiving”. This too is extremely noteworthy. The clearest, loudest message is of no significance if it falls on "deaf ears". Can you relate? Does anyone else find “messaging” an exhilarating study? Are you bored yet?
The message within the message! We are familiar with this sort of idea. Someone tells you something and by their tone or body language you know there is a louder message to be heard. Advertisers are good at this. Whatever they are selling is going to make you look better, feel better, happier and more attractive to the opposite sex. These clever ads convey their messages with images, humor, catchy sayings and big promises! Mothers are professional grade too. Mom asks, “Don’t you think you should wear a coat? Don’t miss the message within the message, which is. “Get a coat on, sooner than later, sweet pea”.
Getting the wrong message.
What disturbs me greatly is the toxic message within the message when people are abused physically, verbally or mentally. The stinging, clinging message is: "You have no value. You are dirty. You are bad. You are not enough. You are worthless. You are an object, a worthless one at that.” We know this list is long. The value message here is: Tragically there is no value message worth mentioning here. These messages can be subtle, but their effects are devastating. At a young age this can be especially confusing.
Society and Culture do not have a good track record for letting your “little light shine”. Past and present history will tear at your heart strings without digging too deeply. From enslavement to sex trafficking trades that have been both legal and illegal for centuries to genocides and atrocities littering the human timeline. A deeper dive into the dark corridors of inhumanity will put your emotions on edge, perhaps even leave the body weak and shaking for a while. If you are looking for a message about your value, do not look here.
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me".
That little rhyme is a test. Do you remember when you realized that words can hurt more than broken bones? Congratulations. You passed the test. You now know, even though they are not tangible, words can be lethal. Move to the head of the class!
Here is part of another poem to illustrate the power of the tongue.
A careless word may kindle strife,
A cruel word may wreck a life,
A bitter word may hate instill,
A brutal word may smite and kill.
Source: Pearls from Many Seas, T.J. Bach
The message that comes with sticks, stone and broken bones is very straight forward. We may not be clear on the motive, but there is no question about the cruelty and anger. Nothing hidden and no subtle games to figure out.
The crushing weight of loneliness, shame, humiliation and confusion that other forms of abuse perpetrates is just too heavy to bear. Don't do it! "Don't bear it alone"! Quanada's famous line. (Quanada is a domestic abuse prevention program servicing Quincy Illinois and surrounding area).
Loneliness. Shame. Humiliation. Depression, confusion and hurt. Ouch what a painful list that is. Does this describe you or someone you know? Is this your comfort zone? Is this the predominant message you have been listening to? Have you rationalized your abuse? Telling yourself that maybe it's your fault, or it could be worse. Are you completely convinced that there is no hope at all? If this is you, I have some really, really good news. Whatever your situation is, it can be different. Whatever your situation is, you have value.
If you are in doubt about your value, it's almost impossible to ignore such a dreaded feeling. The feeling varies from subtle to dominating and can smolder for a very long time. We can try to numb or hide our fear about this, but it will not go away. We will always be on the defense, behind the wall we have built. Terrified that someone will discover our filth, thus blanketing us with stifling shame. This feeling of dread is here to stay and will come out another day to "play" I say, unless we begin to see our own value and love the “unlovable”, which could be our own self.
It is so paramount that you see and understand your value and worth. So much depends on it, your health, your sanity and forward motion. You may not know this yet, but forward motion actually does not depend on others seeing our value, that is simply a bonus.