It's the truth. What you say is not nearly as important as who you are. I've had people swear at me and it made me feel good; and I've had people say nice things to me and it felt like pure poison.
The important thing to remember is, it is not whether your words or actions are tough or gentle; it is the spirit behind your actions and words that announces your inner state. — Chin-Ning Chu
It's like when dogs sense a person's spirit. They cut right through what a person's wearing, whether they've showered that day, what language they speak, what color their skin is. They cut through all that nonsense and see straight through to a person's spirit. We do too.
Always. We just might not be particularly aware of it. Oh, sometimes it's easy to sense a person's spirit. But we always do get a sense of a person's spirit, albeit sometimes at an unconscious level. Yes, we always know what's going on with a person. We may not know it consciously, but we know it nonetheless. And the more we get to know the person, the more consciously we know their spirit.
Like dogs (and I mean this in a flattering way lol) we pick up on a person's spirit. We know who's good for us; who's a sham. All the acting and pretended goodness can't fool us.
My family used to have a golden retriever named Dustin. I loved that dog so much. (I have had maybe 30 dreams about him since he died.) I wasn't perfect to him, but I know he loved me too. But one thing always baffled me about him: whenever I would go to pick him up (and for a legitimate reason) he would growl at me as if he was going to bite me. I mean really growl. (I never picked him up.)
Well, one day I took Dustin to the vet. We went into one of the examination rooms, and the vet picked Dustin up, and Dustin did not make a peep. I was like, 'What the hell. I feed this dog. I walk this dog. I love this dog— and when I go to pick him up he growls at me like he's going to kill me.'
I told the vet what I just told you and asked him, what gives.
He said, "See, Dustin doesn't know me at all. He doesn't know if I might hurt him. But he knows you, and he knows you would never hurt him."
Made sense because I did know that dog and he did know me.
So don't pay so much attention to what people say as to what they are. Like the quote, tough words or gentle words hardly matter. What matters is the spirit behind them. So cut through the bark and get to the person's spirit. It's there that you'll really hear them, no matter what they're saying.