The Power of Words II
“The power of words is immense. A well-chosen word has often sufficed to stop a flying army, to change defeat into victory and to save an empire”
— Emile de Girardin
In 2020 we wrote about the power of words. We examined their capacity to act as either poison or medicine and our potential for becoming so conscious of the words that we choose when speaking to the Self or others, that we hugely influence all situations.
In this article, we would like to explore the magic of words further.
It is true that words can be used both for wounding and healing, but it is also true that they only have the power that we give to them. In our previous article we were raising awareness as to the impact that the words we choose have on others – in this one we would like to explore how we respond to words that we or others choose, when we hear them.
During our training always advocate that delegates work towards taking complete responsibility for all their responses in all situations. When we blame a toxic situation or the behaviour of another for our misery, we fall victim to those things and render ourselves completely powerless. When we hone our Self-awareness to the point where we can choose not to respond to our triggers – we gain ultimate power over our lives. This is Self-mastery!
This applies when we are on the receiving end of someone else’s choice of words.
Like everything else in our external environment, the words that another chooses to use towards us and about us and others is not within our control – but our response to them certainly can be.
For example: When someone swears or curses at us, if we are offended, then it is we who feel the offence. We feel the poke to our Self-worth and the unpleasant emotion that results from it. In other words – it is our wellbeing that is dented. This is our responsibility, and we can prevent it by choosing an alternative response.
Emotions are body experiences resulting from a change in body chemistry brought about by our internal narrative – that is the story that we are telling ourselves. Unpleasant emotions are pointers towards something in the psyche which is in need of processing. This is why we advocate sitting with and acknowledging emotions rather than pushing them away and plastering over them with false positivity. By all means, foster positivity as your default but first, listen to the negative emotions because they have much to teach you.
It is clear that, when talking to patients, certain words can have a specific ‘feel’ to them. Some words feel light and uplifting, whilst others can feel dense and heavy. This is also often described in a therapeutic setting as having a high or low vibration respectively. It can vary from person to person depending on our experiences, but there are certain words who’s particular ‘qualities’ are common to most of us.
Words that commonly feel heavy might include dense, heavy, anger, disappointment, resentment, limited, toil, turbulent, difficult, laboured, debilitating, despair, depleted, drained, arduous, argumentative, chronic, pain, stiffness, immobility, hindrance, obstruction, abandonment, ugly, dirty, defective, broken, stuck, burden, heavy. Please feel free to add your own personal words to this list – you will find it enlightening!
Words that carry a lighter and more positive energy might include positivity, lightness, enlightening, optimistic, hopeful, uplifting, invigorated, zest, cherish, adore, delight, sustenance, nourishment, comfort, ease, relief, growth, release, liberate, joy, happiness, whole, precious, beautiful, pure, appreciation, celebration, freedom - again, add your own.
The changes in energy that we feel in association with words may be due to the connections that are made in the psyche between the words, and our experiences – that is, the emotions that we felt at the time that they were used. Remember, however that every time we feel a certain way about the use of certain words – we have given power to those words – this is a choice. When we add to this, the content and meaning of the whole message – we can see how we can come to feel powerless against an outburst from a friend or colleague.
In the case of words that have a common feel, there may be an element of collective consciousness – and if we all feel a similar way about certain words – might it be wise to use them mindfully?
1. Set the intention to become fully conscious of your choice of words in all situations. To do this you will need to set the pace for all your interactions.
For this task, you will, as always, need to step into the shoes of your Observer Self. This is the part of you that can witness your thoughts, emotions and actions so as to record them for later interest, but it is not the part doing the thinking, feeling or acting. Channelling this part of the psyche allows you to step beck completely and be the onlooker to your own story.
If you are fully conscious during your conversations, you will be able to slow your speech and create gaps and pauses in the narrative so that you can consciously construct your responses.
Aim to choose words that commonly have a positive feel to them. You will notice that in using those word as opposed to ones that feel ‘heavy’ you, yourself will begin to feel lighter and more optimistic. The intention is that the recipient will have more chance of being positively influenced by the conversation.
Resist the temptation to fill silence with words. Alternatively allow it to provide space for the recipient to process what you have said and construct their own responses consciously if that is available to them.
2. Set the intention to Observe your responses to all communications that you receive. Again, step into the shoes of your Observer Self.
Set the pace of the interaction so that you can become fully conscious. Remember that silence is an incredibly powerful tool when used purposefully. Not only does it allow for you to choose your words with care, but it also enables you to observe any emotional changes that are coming up for you in response to the other person.
Actively listen to what is being said.
Remember that no word, tone of voice or body language can make you feel a certain way unless you give it the power to do so.
Pay particular attention to your emotions during the interaction. They have much to tell you about what is going on for you in terms of Self-worth.
When we are made uncomfortable by the actions of another, we have usually moved into a position of fear that we are about to lose something that is important to us – material comfort, relationships, status, reputation, or knowledge. This is projection. When we return to the present moment, we have not lost anything at all. Return to the present moment.
There is no shortage of literature about how to manage fear of our website. Please explore it.
When you cultivate the habit of observing your responses in all situations you become armed with an abundance of information about your Self. Be grateful for that information. It can be utilised in the bolstering of your spirit in a modern world where you are wise if you are your own best champion!