There is a prayer by Samuel A. Trumbore that changed the way I think of speaking in anger. The poem starts, “Teach my heart healing words.”
In the past, I don’t know how many times I spoke in anger when my underlying emotion was deep wounding. That deep wounding that felt like my heart had been smashed. The deep wounding that didn’t seem to allow me to do anything but grasp for those words that were wielded like weapons, words that wounded, angry words. Angry words that would fill me with regret very soon after they had left my mouth.
I wonder what would have happened if I, even when I was feeling wounded, could have focused inward and prayed (meditated, set my intentions), “Teach my heart healing words.” I wonder if those angry words would have made it to my brain and found a place to live inside of me. I am inclined to believe that they would have. I think that the whispering of that tiny prayer would have given me just enough time to respond differently.
I practice these new words now, “Teach my heart healing words” when I feel my hurt and anger rising. Would you like to join in this exercise with me? Let me know how you are stopping and thinking, “teach my heart healing words” before you acted has helped you.
From Antonia Bell-Delgado, Intern Minister
Teach my heart healing words
Teach my heart healing words.
Show me the words that help rather than harm.
Instruct me in the verbs that bring energy,
the nouns pointing to the real,
the adjectives describing your subtleties.
Reveal to me how words can be offered
in a way that connects rather than separates,
that develops trust and eschews suspicion,
that opens the heart and relaxes the mind.