The Power of Words

22 02 2015

I love words.  I really do.  I love seeing them and reading them. Heck, I watch TV with the captions on the screen.  This is not just because I don’t hear well, but honestly, I love to see the words on the screen.  Unless you have really good writing, I honestly don’t find movies or TV or even news that interesting.  If it’s not got great writing, I don’t like it.  I suffered through Twilight, and that’s about all of the bad writing I can endure.

There’s no denying that words are powerful.  The word of someone can either completely uplift your soul or tear you to pieces.  I can be doing really well on a certain day, and just one person’s criticism can completely destroy my attitude.  On the other hand, there are oftentimes some well-placed and said encouragements that drop into my life at just the right time…that uplift my mood completely.  Words make an impact, and the very words you say…they have the potential to make or break lives completely.  Which is both awesome and completely terrifying.

I’ve been around many different people.  There’s people from all works of life, all roads of life, and I see how words have made an impact on their development and their mental perspective towards themselves.  The things that people repeatedly said about them truly becomes their fate sometimes.  I’ve experienced people who have had words of love and support, unconditional loyalty and pride that have been spoken to them all their life.  And these people find it easy to look at themselves with words of acceptance, and find it easy to accept other people for where they are, and see the good things in them.  They do not push away love and compliments, but they are able to accept them and believe them as truth.  There are other people that have been spoken words of condemnation and shame.  They’ve been told that they are unworthy or they’re not good enough.  These people have a hard time accepting praise as truth, because they’ve been told all of their life that they’re not good enough, and they are not worthy to receive such adulation.  When they consider other people, and interact with them, they interact with the world as if everyone is better than they are.  Consistently humble, they find it hard to accept love.  Now, not everyone is within these two extremes, some people find themselves somewhere in the middle.  That’s okay.  Many people hear mixed messages all their life.  And it depends on what that message is, as to whether they are able to receive it.  Like myself, for example:  when I was growing up, I had a half of a family that valued me.  I have friends who value me.  These two groups consistently affirm me.  They enjoy my humor, and they see how compassionate I am, and how deeply I care, and they praise me for these things.  I can accept compliments that say that I am funny and caring.  However, I have had some other half of the family who did not speak so kindly to me.  Elementary kids are cruel, and I still remember the sting of their rejection.  Because of these two forces, I still find it hard to hear that I am good enough, or that I am someone that people want to have around.  Because of that, I find it hard to trust people, because sometimes, the very people I should be able to trust, I have been unable to do that.

What I have noticed, however, is that the words that I remember people thinking of me and saying about me often are not the words from the first group of people, but the second group of people, the people who cut me down.  And that brings me to the powerful question:  Why are the negative words we hear, more difficult to shake off, than the positive?  This is such a compelling question.  The words of negativity that I say to someone have the more long-term impact on their life, than do the positive things.  That is powerfully compelling.  People spend their lifetimes trying to shake off the damages that misuse of words can have upon their development.  Instead of focusing on the positive things people say about us, it’s the damaging and negative things that keep us up at night, induce panic attacks, and wreck havoc on our peace of mind.

What does this mean?  So what?

Watch the ways that you use your words.