Many of us are familiar with the childhood chant, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words (or sometimes names) may never hurt me!” In my much younger years, I heard and used this phrase myself many times but, as I’ve grown, I’ve discovered that it really isn’t true. Words actually can hurt—but they can also heal. It all depends upon how they are used and how they are received.
The occasional target of bullies growing up, I quickly learned to ignore any taunts, jeers, or negative attention that might come my way. I found that, many times, those who tried to anger me were only seeking attention—and my adverse reaction would only give them more reason to persist. In fact, it would practically guarantee that I’d receive much more of the same treatment. While I eventually learned how to minimize the affect of a verbal attack, I always felt its sting nonetheless.
In truth, words are powerful things. We don’t often think of them as such, but words actually are physical things. As such, they have a very real physical affect—for, once spoken, they ripple outward as sound waves, their vibration impacting all the physical matter within their reach. At the same time, words affect the consciousness of all who hear them.
Dr. Masaru Emoto wrote of the power of words in his book, “Messages From Water”. In the book, he documents a number of experiments where water was exposed to words (both spoken and written) and various types of music. Once frozen, he studied the water crystals under a microscope and was amazed to discover that the structure of the crystals was directly affected by the words to which they had been exposed. When water experienced positive, uplifting words such as “love” or “thanks”, it formed beautiful geometric patterns like snowflakes. When negative words like “hate” or “fool” were used, the crystals were malformed or developed chaotic, unattractive patterns. I found it quite interesting to note that Dr. Emoto observed similar affects when water was exposed to prayer and various forms of music.
If we consider that our own bodies are at least 70% water, these experiments make it quite apparent that words hold significantly more influence on us than just the emotions they elicit. They clearly affect us physically as well. In my life and work, I always try to do what I can to bring about positive change and hopefully, in some small way, help others in the process. While it’s definitely a challenge at times, the words I try to use most often are those that heal, inspire and uplift. Since our words truly seem to have such a magical impact on us and our environment, what type of words will you choose to use today?
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