How can words make a difference? The old saying "sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never hurt you" is probably the least true sing-song mantra of childhood that I can think of. Words carry enormous power, both during childhood and throughout the course of our lives. The written word has changed history, created laws, made binding contracts, opened vistas in the imagination, shaped thought, informed, taught, and connected us.
Spoken words have effects on people that are profound. To verbally harass or bully another is a form of attack that can leave lasting and traumatic scars on the victim. It's no small thing. While words of abuse and shame can be invisible if they are not recorded, their effects can be profound.
So how do we use our words to support our partners, our children and ourselves? Do we correct with too much emphasis? Do we turn away because we feel put down, criticized or belittled? Or is it just a tone that is rubbing us the wrong way? Thoughts of being overly sensitive or not having a backbone can often shut us down to our real feelings which may be very sensitive indeed.
In fact, using words wisely can make all the difference in every relationship imaginable; they can build bridges of trust and hope, or destroy a marriage or partnership. Words can uplift us or make us feel worthless, can shape a child's idea of the world and our images of ourselves.
Whenever possible, using mindfulness and a real willingness to assess your own language to determine whether or not your words are helpful or potentially damaging is a real gift to those around you. By taking the position that words are powerful, important, potent sources of energy and tools for shaping our lives, we can use words more wisely.
In a fascinating article about the power of words for cancer patients, the exploration of writing and healing was profiled. Please click on the following link for more on this: