“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” ~ Robin Williams
The words we speak not only affect others but they affect the speaker too. We assign meanings to the words we use and those we hear. And these meanings register in our mind, affecting the way we think and feel. Words are powerful tools that can bring happiness to a broken heart, peace to a tired soul, whimsical laughter to a child at play. They convey profound ideas or play with the absurd. They describe our neighbors and discuss the latest gossip.
“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” ~Thomas Jefferson
One word can be as powerful as a whole sentence. When something pushes our buttons, a sentence may push us into a hole, while just one word can get us over the hump. Many people have a ‘key’ word they use to reduce stress or to express an attitude or feeling. When my daughter was a small child, she sat on the floor putting a toy together while I visited with my mother-in-law. Suddenly, she said, “Oh, dammit.” And my mother-in-law glared in shock. I tried to cover up with, “I wonder where she got that.” Then she looked up and commented, “What, Mommy, that word you say?” Well, I just sank further into my chair. And yes, I changed my favorite word.
The user of a keyword has to really feel the word for it to become a meaningful habit. Maybe you’ve heard people use ‘oh, well’, ‘really’, ‘whew’, etc. My favorite word now is ‘whatever’. I rarely use it in conversation, but it has an amazing ability to release a tremendous load of stress when I push to frustration trying to accomplish something. To me, it means the situation is not the end of the world, so I can just let it go, at least for now.
Words are powerful. They can create or they can destroy. So choose your words wisely. ~Unknown
Words have been known to change whole civilizations when a crazy person sits in the power seat spouting directions to his helpless subjects. They gather in the streets carrying signs with words of protest. But they remain helpless, and eventually bend to oppression. When we hear false statements long enough, we tend to believe them. And today we live in a world where words have transformed peaceful, caring minds into ‘us and them’ attitudes filled with judgment, hate, anger, fear, and separation from one another. Now is when words of love and peace are needed. And a good place to start is with our words to ourselves about who we are.
“The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.” ~Anthony Robbins
Thoughts speak with words, and these words create beliefs and feelings about ourselves and others. Listen carefully to what your own thoughts are saying about you. Are there doubts about the truth of who you are? And have you allowed the words of others to sway your vision of your true self? Look closely at your self-image, and answer these questions. Then use descriptive words to reveal the truth about you, words like honest, loyal, intelligent, kind, good-looking, anything positive. And add some words for negative traits you can work on. We all have those.
I think three things are important for people to feel whole and fulfilled...understanding, validation, and caring. All of these can be accomplished in the way we speak to others and in the way we hear others speak to us. Too often in conversations, we’re just hearing words, and not really hearing the other person. But if you listen with a caring attitude and your words reflect on what they’re saying, they’ll hear and feel the goodness that is you. Both will feel whole and fulfilled. And they will not forget.
Today, we’re living in a time when too many people have chosen a hateful journey. And we all suffer. Make your journey one of peace, harmony, and love. And let your words reveal this in you and as you. Then our journey may have a different future.
Enjoy your words. They reveal who you are.