Have you ever said something that you deeply regret?
Something you wish with all your heart you could take back?
Perhaps it was to a friend, work colleague or a past partner or, even worse, your child or parent.
I remember yelling how much I hated someone and then later feeling a reflected pain of those cursed words as I saw the absolute hurt on that person's face. While those words were flung from my mouth, all I cared about was me. At that moment in time I didn't care about anyone else and let fly with all the venom and dirt that I could muster. I was a teenager and isn't that part and parcel of 'growing up' and learning what not to do?
Isn't that the same anger and fire and despondency and depression and awkwardness that goes full circle and parks itself back in our lives during menopause?
I think it might be because I found myself, as the years grew into my menopause journey, being irrational and angry and so very sad - again it all centred around me.
In menopause our patience is truly stretched to the limit and it's really easy to fall into the habit of being grumpy, short-tempered - I mean our hormones are all over the place at certain times in our journey.
So, in my case, I found myself getting annoyed at other drivers on the road and more than once cursing them to billyo and back (where is Billyo anyway?)
But, you know what - it didn't make me feel any better. In fact, it made me feel a whole lot worse, cursing those drivers, even though they were in the wrong and being incredibly selfish and thoughtless driving in a dangerous manner.
So, what is a curse? What are we really doing when we let our words take flight in the negative?
The online Google dictionary says:
The bible says that we can bless someone or we can curse them because we have been given creative power in our words.
The thing is that when we curse someone or thing, we release a lot of power in those words and that power continues to manifest (especially if you're born again and belong to Jesus Christ) in the person's life to which it was directed.
Now, don't get me wrong, we all swear/cuss from time to time, that's the second meaning and we all let rip now and again - missing a nail with the hammer comes to mind! We are human after all.
I'm talking about the first dictionary meaning, about the time when you felt those words come up from your boots and with the best will in the world, just couldn't (or wouldn't) stop them from pouring out of your very being, with a Niagra Falls force, to harm the receiver.
You knew deep down inside that those words should never be uttered, but then perhaps to your horror (although you would never admit it at the time) those words tumbled out anyway. You know it's a curse when you feel your whole body tense as though your loading a bow and getting ready to shoot those arrows.
We've all done it - we've all stood and let our mouths run off, even at times wondering "Did I really just say that?" Still, being unable to stop the tirade of venom flowing towards our victim.
I cringe as I remember the time I was entering menopause (it's not an excuse but it does help to realise that we are not quite ourselves when those hormones begin to wobble our world) and I'd been waiting at a hi-fi store for ages to be served. Two people had cut in line in front of me and the person serving saw that but served them anyway. Of course one of those lovely people was returning something and the transaction went on and on and on.
I tried to contain my annoyance but the two lines on either side of me were moving along quickly and I was still standing there when I heard coming out of my mouth a grand tirade all about the poor customer service, the lack of professionalism, the thoughtless customers who had cut in line (no-one was spared) and promptly marched out of the store declaring to all and sundry that I would never be back and that they had just lost a loyal customer.
Cringe...oh so cringe-worthy!
As I look back on that moment in time, I'm not proud of what I did. I would have obviously upset the customer service staff, hurt the feelings of those who jumped the line and embarrassed my teenage daughter no end as she came trotting after me.
So...let my fiasco be a lesson to you. Let my lesson (which is being learnt all over again right now) be a warning to you that you might think that letting rip at someone will make you feel better but it really doesn't.
I cut our shopping trip short that day and went back to the car and, as I was driving home, it dawned on me how many people had been affected by my ugly tirade. It didn't matter that it was, to some extent, justified. It didn't matter that I'd had a terrible day leading up to the incident. None of it mattered, except the fact that I had lost my temper, embarrassed my daughter, and hurt people along the way.
And, all while being a born-again believer in Jesus Christ. The prince of peace - and I'd just behaved like a spoiled brat! Great example of what NOT to do. It didn't help that on the drive on the way home, my daughter was very quiet and it was a very long trip home with plenty of time to reflect.
It wasn't long after that event that I discovered the King James Bible and began to really dig into the word of God.
And that was amazing!!! It totally turned my life around as I'd been seeking for years, sometimes knowingly, sometimes unknowingly, and my seeking had led me in all different directions. I mean I was 40 before I gave my life to God and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour! I trusted no-one and had the biggest wall around me.
I'd levitated, I'd dabbled in areas best left alone in my pre-marriage years. I'd read all sorts of books on how to manifest wealth and prosperity. I'd had a spirit guide and experienced the dark side of that and, after lots of searching realised that If Jesus is not in them, then they are anti-Christ, just by their very nature.
In today's world, there's even more directions to choose but ultimately they all lead to Jesus or to the anti-Christ. Because there are only two choices - and I learnt that the hard way. Now, that's a story for another post further down the track.
So, the 'pick n mix' options these days (showing my age pick'n mix lollies from Woolies) when it comes to faith and healing and spiritual direction in our lives, is varied indeed. Some say you can do and say what you like, so long as you don't hurt others. But, what does that mean? And how do you and I know if we've hurt someone? You might be hurt by what I'm writing today but I see it as teaching what I've learnt in the hope that it might save you hurt in the future.
Like I said, I tried all sorts of religions and faiths and got myself into some awkward situations along the way. Everything I tried left an empty place inside me, so I would look further and try to find what I was looking for. You may be in the same boat - looking and seeking and feeling so dissatisfied with your life and your relationships. It's a tough place to be, it really is, especially during menopause because not a lot of life makes sense at times during this menopause journey.
I remember so clearly, saying my mantras, as I went walking, and I remember the wheel of fortune on my wall at home. Wow...little did I know what havoc that would wreak!
So, suffice to say, I've been around and had many different experiences in my life, but one of the greatest lessons I've learnt is the power of my words.
Years ago, when I was a young singer/songwriter I won a heat at a talent quest with an original song called 'Live For Today' and as I write this today I'm reminded of two lines in the song which were very telling -
Words are like a bag of feathers,
Once they're out, they're gone forever.
I learnt that you can't take back words, once they're spoken they go forth and do their work. They are very powerful and power-filled, especially if you understand biblical scripture.
Just like that moment of time in the hi-fi store (I was buying a CD for my older daughter's birthday) those words of negativity were released into that store and, it wasn't until I realised the power of my words that I could pray over the situation and break the power through the word of God. I had to forgive the thoughtless actions of the shoppers who pushed in front (who knows what their morning had been like?!)
You see, being born again is amazing. It's the most wonderful thing I have ever done in my life. I talk about menopause being a journey and it truly is. I will write more about that in my next article. I'm just so grateful that I have my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, to journey with me through the power of the Holy Spirit. And, I'm so grateful that I know the word of God and I know what belongs to me and I KNOW I will never, ever, speak to anyone like that again.
If this article has touched you, then just know this. The same God who loves you and me exactly the same, is there for you too. If you've never experienced true peace in your life, then let the Lord of Glory into your heart. It's the most wonderful, peaceful, 'full' feeling you ever experience on this earth.
Do you know why? Because when you do that, when you invite Jesus into your heart (he's knocking on the door) you have the power to break the curse of any words you have spoken in the past. You have the power to forgive and to be forgiven - and it's the being forgiven that will truly sturdy your path during menopause.
I've been reprimanded so many times through reading the word of God - reprimanded, strengthened, grown and become a person who loves, nurtures, and encourages those in my life - including you. <3
The power of our words is mighty and when you align your words with those of God, you can move those mountains Jesus talks about. Those mountains of the past that taunt you daily, those mountains of regrets that seem to be ever-present in menopause until we deal with them.
So, let me leave you with a wonderful technique to deal with past bad memories and feelings of regret. The first person you need to talk with is you. It's easy to be hard on ourselves during menopause as our emotions are affected by the huge hormonal shifts taking place. It's like the world is carrying on like normal but someone's handed you a pair of glasses (menopause specs) and you see life in a totally different way.
I suggest, when you feel the time is right that you get yourself a pen and paper and write a letter to the person you have hurt in the past and pour out all your feelings. Forgive yourself and forgive them. Keep the letter for as long as you want then throw it away. You can burn it and bury the ashes if you like as that has a sense of finality to it. But whatever way you choose to go is fine.
The trick then is to catch those thoughts, if that old memory comes up, and break the habit of holding onto past hurts and regrets.
As I said, we've all done it, we've all upset and hurt people (especially nearest and dearest because they love us) and one of my favourite books in the bible is James (Jesus half-brother) where he writes in chapter 3 about the power of our tongue and how impossible it is to have total control. I've linked to the whole book, which is just 5 short chapters and full of wisdom.
So, as I mentioned earlier I became born again in Jesus Christ at the age of 40 - late starter or what?! In my case, I lay those mistakes at the foot of the cross (I had a vision years ago of Jesus on the cross and it changed my life forever - you can't imagine the love that emanates from him, it's indescribable) and leave them there. Why? Because Jesus has taken all our sin already, that means the mistakes, the ugly curses, the sickness and disease that tries to come on our bodies. As he said - "It is finished." One sacrifice for all mankind.
He meant it too - the job is done. So, for me I despatch the past, and all my mistakes. I apologised to those people I hurt when I realised the power of my words. And to others just a distant memory I broke the power of those words in Jesus Christ' mighty name and let go of any regrets, embarrassment and stress that those memories caused.
Wow! Menopause truly is a time for clearing out past baggage and, when you do that, when you forgive yourself for all those ugly words, you release the person to whom they were spoken.
There's a realisation that takes place when you finally release those in your past that you have cursed, and a commitment to be careful in the future with your words. That realisation is that the person truly released when you forgive and move on is you.
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