‘’Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never break me.’’– Unknown (to me atleast).
Who has not heard this being said? I agree with the first part of the sentence. Sticks and stones indeed have every potential to break your bones, but words, words can do far more than that. Words have the power to create a battle that no one knows about. The power to create a war within that will take everything you got to win. Words have the power to create a silent suffering, that more often than not goes unnoticed by the surrounding but also by the person dealing with it. Words are much more than just words.
There are three kinds of categories of words that we use; negative, positive and neutral. The mind’s default setting is on the negative. This comes down to pure evolution. The negative tells us what it is we should stay away from so we don’t die. It stems from wanting to survive. The second category contains the positive words. The words that fall in this category remind you of happiness, joy and all the other good things that make us smile. The last category are neutral words. Words that have no significant positive or negative connotation. They can however flip to either one of the sides; negative or positive.
The power of all words lies in the meaning that we give to them. The negative ones we can’t help but think off in a negative way. The positive words start out positive but can be changed through our experiences, feelings and thoughts to negative words. But vice versa is true as well. For example when people say the negative sentence of ‘’You can’t do that’’ some people see that as a challenge, which robbed the negative words of their negative power and gave them positive power. The kind of power that we need and want to attract and express. The meaning we associate with the words give them their power.
The meaning we attach to the words is for a grand part based on our experiences, thoughts and feelings. It is because we attach meaning to words based on the aforementioned subjects that when hearing them they can trigger nothing or everything. Ever had someone start talking about something and you suddenly feel sucker punched? Even if the words used were positive, they can still have a negative feel for you, which can make you feel sucker punched. Exactly my point, words have power. All words. Just as they can lift you up and shoot you to the stars, they also have the power to destroy.
The power of words can reach far further than just feeling sucker punched. Certain words can stick and integrate in your frame of reference. This will shine through in the way you use the words. Sometimes even in your tone of voice. But also in the things that you are not verbally communicating. Such as the implicit message. You know, what people read between the lines of what is actually said. Besides all of this, words also have a power within you.
The words you use in your inner dialogue contribute to the story you’re writing for yourself. What do these words mean to you? What experiences, thoughts and/or feelings are associated with the words you use? More importantly are you using positive words with a negative connotation? What power of words are you missing? Are you not seeing?
Words might not be able to break your bones, but they might and can break your story.