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Words can hurt

I don’t want to admit  mean words came out of my mouth. But they did. I said something recently that I wish I could take back. Cruel words came out of my mouth. Someone heard what I said. I am ashamed.

Have you ever tried to put toothpaste back in the tube? I tried this afternoon. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. I can’t take back the words I said.

You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. Words can hurt.

Words are not like post-it notes that fade with time and fall off. Words that destroy often get swallowed, and remain inside, embedded into the tissue like a scar after surgery.

I know better. I know words can hurt. But I was careless. I wasn’t thinking. I didn’t think anyone could hear me. But, they could. Someone heard what I said.

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 12:18

I apologized. But the words are still there.

There are mean words  inside of you. Cruel words were spoken to you, as a child, as an adult.  You swallowed the words. You have let the mean words define you. Spit them out. Stop swallowing mean words. 

Isn’t it odd that we as humans will swallow and own hurtful words so often. But the kind, sweet ones we let get carried away on the breeze.
Leena Devlin

I will hold on to the kind sweet words I let the wind carry away, and I will spit out the hurtful words I have swallowed.

God made you special and He loves you very much.
Bob the Tomato – Veggie Tales

Have you ever said something you regretted?

You can't take back mean words.


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Is there anyone who has NOT said something he/she regretted? I don’t think so. I’m sorry you are feeling the recent sting of having done just that. I pray that your apology was accepted and healing will take place. Since we ALL say things that are regrettable, we should ALL be forgiving when we are on the receiving end. Hugs to you!

    • Thank you for the hug Sue. My friend forgave me. I pray that I will be as forgiving when someone is mean to me.

  • Oh girl, we all have. It is a terrible feeling, terrible consequences. I pray for grace for both parties

    • Thank you for your prayers Christa. I pray for healing in my friendship as well.

  • Thanks for sharing, my friend Pamela. Oh yes, Words are powerful! I’ve squeezed the toothpaste before. I want the words I choose to be a blessing. To point people to God. As I daily tell my kids when “words” squeeze in my home, “We choose words that heal, not kill.” Love your honest, humble post.

    • Thank you Shannon. I have kept the toothpaste in the tube today. I am grateful for a sunrise every morning and a chance to start again.

  • Lotta Wanner

    So great reminder Pamela. ‘Thank you. It is important to be aware .I am sorry it happened and made you sad, but being aware has made you start the healing process for you, and the other person.I am easily hurt by words, that’s how we learn which words we try to use for others.

    • Yes, Lotta we can learn that some words should stay in the dictionary. Thank you for your understanding.

  • Jaana

    Words have so much power. I wrote my blog about words today as well. And yes, I have had times when wish I could have recalled my words. Then I can only apologize.

  • Melissa Vervinck

    I think everyone has said something without thinking. There have also been times where I have written something that I should have never shared with anyone else. Written words can hurt just as much, or maybe more, than spoken ones.

    • Good point Melissa. I have received two letters in my life that I wish had never been mailed. Letters addressing my faults. Or perhaps some letters should never be opened.

  • Brenna Michels

    This is a sparkling piece of writing. I could feel your frustration when you added the challenge of putting toothpaste back into the tube. IMPOSSIBLE. We must carefully cushion our words. Loved the quotes too, BTW. Thanks for the reminder, Pamela :).

    • You are very welcome Brenna. I will cushion my words today, and only use words that are kind.

  • Over the years, I’ve had a lot of practice saying hurtful things. One of my favorite verses is from Psalms, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” If only I could keep this to the forefront of my heart. As David said, “My sin is forever before me.”

    • Thank you Shelley. I have a door on my mouth today.

  • Yes, sadly I have said things I’ve regretted. Sometimes I have told myself things I wish I would have spit out. I hope God heals whatever needs to be healed in your case.

    • Thank you Anne. I pray the person who heard my mean words will forgive me.

  • Darlene Mitchell

    Yes, yes, yes….just recently in fact. I don’t regret the words as much as I regret the way I said them…..:-) My blog is about that very thing…..

    • I read your blog. We both talked about words. I wonder what words you will use today?

  • I have said such mean things to my daughter that I know I wounded her forever. I wish I could go backwards in time and unsay those things.

    • I am with you Kathleen. I wish I could be sixteen again and take back what I said to my mother. I don’t know about being wounded forever. I think the scar is always there, but the wound will heal, with love and forgiveness.

  • Donna Smith

    Oh, yeah. They hurt the speaker probably as much as, or more than, the hearer, when you think about it. I think we should worry if the hurtful words don’t also hurt us so much in the saying of them. I hate painful lessons!

  • Oh, I’ve been there too many times. When will I ever learn to think before I speak? I love the line “Spit them out. Stop swallowing mean words.” I think I needed to hear that today. I have some mean words I do need to spit out and let go of. Thank you.

  • Elsie

    Words echo in my mind, so I know they don’t evaporate.