Do your words hurt or heal you. What story do you tell about yourself and the people you interact with to others, to the universe or to yourself?
I was talking to my friend the other day and she said she has banned her child from saying the word “hate” and it got me thinking how we can use negative language from very early in our lives. We might hate a teacher, hate a tv show or we might hate that boy who pulled a face at us.
I, like many young people, hated some part of my body and would reiterate this to my peers as some sort of weird group bonding exercise – who could hate on their hair, nose, fat thighs more then others? I think towards the end of high school I got a bit bored with all the negative talk – and now on most days I’ll tell you straight out I’m fair up myself!! I especially think I’m hot after a few toddies and duck lipped/super pouted selfies.
In Shamanic traditions there is the notion of word doctoring where you can use the energy behind words to change a person’s health outcome. I have used it with my patients when we retell or reframe their story from a tale of sadness and hurt to a learning or healing story.
I am a big believer in looking for the teaching or patterns in challenging times (and admittedly this can be very challenging in itself and may only be seen after the challenge has passed) to aid in spiritual growth and healing. I think the best skill doctor’s can have is to listen to patient’s stories as there is often so much that is not “said” in a consultation.
In ancient cultures words have always held power. Shamans can breathe healing energy into words during a healing session.
There are many ancient legends and stories around words and how words were created. One of my favourites relates to Grandmother Spider who in druidic traditions is considered both the bard and the seer. Grandmother Spider created both the universe and the first alphabet in her web. The web of life will connect us to all, but can change constantly. She is the teacher of language and holds the magic of writing. Think of the book Charlotte’s Web, where positive affirmations would appear in the web above Wilbur the pig’s stall – that barn spider changed Wilbur’s destiny and helped the farmer see that Wilbur was in fact “some (awesome) pig.”
Change your story to one of love and positivity and you will change your (and others’) outcomes.
Many different traditions have used and witnessed the power of words through prayer or repeating devotional mantras as a tool to uplift and heal individuals and communities. At the other end of the scale, we have witnessed the media or politicians manipulate stories or situations to spread fear within a community (whether that be global or local), which will then trickle down to resonate within an individual. This fear can turn to hatred, and then we as a community and individual are buffered and surrounded by negatively. Negativity and hurtful words or thoughts are toxic for you – it causes stress in your body – your sympathetic nervous system is activated, your stress hormones are amped up and flood your body and your immune system becomes under pressure.
Have you ever been in a meeting or been in an argument where you almost feel the words being said “jab” at you – almost like a punch to the stomach? There is an exchange of energy during all interactions we have, and one could argue the old adage “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me” – is actually full of shit. Words can hurt and the fall out can flow from an individual, to a family and through to the community. Have a think about the words you use and how you use them. Are they helpful or hurtful? Maybe we should follow the old saying” if you haven’t got anything nice to say – don’t say anything at all!” Admittedly there are some days when I am no angel and I fear following this I would give some mime artist a good run for their money. Hmmm so I have some reflective homework as well.
Change your interactions by using positive words. Change the energy to something that is uplifting and inspires hope and happiness.
Joy. Pleasure. Fantastic. Love. Appreciate. Gratitude.
You did a great job.
I am so proud of you.
You are amazing.
You are gorgeous
You are beautiful (I’ve had a couple of patients cry when I tell them this and my heart breaks a little – because they truly are, but in a place where they cannot see or believe it)
Through your words, you can create your world.
Manifest positive, beautiful and radiant health and heal yourself and the community.