Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt me. I laugh at that one. Do they not know the power of me? Do they not know what I can do?
I am words. Only words. The funny thing about me is that I may move you, my reader. But yet another of my readers may not be moved at all. I can make you feel sad one day and you could look at me another day and feel happy. Fickle thing feelings are. It all depends on how you feel when you read me.
Some people are so good at using me that you can remember what they wrote many years later. Other people, even though what they wrote touched you at the moment, you forget the next day. Sometimes the next hour.
Put me to music and it is a whole new ball game. Music from yesteryear can evoke many memories, some good, some bad. I can make you move fast or slow. Well, technically it is the music but I control how the music is played.
Do you remember the song on the radio the first time you were kissed? Your wedding dance song? The day you lost a loved one? I can bring you happy and sad memories, all in the same song. I can make you smile, I can make you cry. Happy the first time you heard it, sad when you hear it now.
Do you see the power I have now? When spoken in truth I can help people live a better life. Sometimes I have to be spoken bluntly in truth. The receiver of me may not like me. When spoken in truth I am all powerful. No one can stand against me or deny me. I can make you feel good about yourself.
When spoken in lies, I can lead people astray. Lead them from where they want to be. Unfortunately, there are many people in this world that use me only to lead people astray, and they are quite good at using me this way. You won’t know until it’s too late that you have been following lies. I can bring you down, make you feel worthless.
How can you know when I am being used for good or for evil ? Am I being used in the same way consistently? Do I stand the test of time? Do I build you up or tear you down ?
Did you know I can not only affect you but I can affect everything around you? Did your mom ever talk to the houseplant? Ever hear of farmers talking to their crops? I can even affect water. Dr. Masaru Emoto did an interesting study (Messages From Water). He would say positive things to some water molecules and negative things to others. He would then instantly freeze them and took high speed pictures of them. Here are the results :
If I can do that to water, imagine what I do to someone you are talking to.
It has also been proven that positive words can actually change your brain structure.
In Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman book, Words Can Change Your Brain, they write: “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.”
Positive words, such as “peace” and “love,” can alter the expression of genes, strengthening areas in our frontal lobes and promoting the brain’s cognitive functioning. They propel the motivational centers of the brain into action and build resiliency.
Conversely, hostile language can disrupt specific genes that play a key part in the production of neurochemicals that protect us from stress. Humans are hardwired to worry — part of our primal brains protecting us from threats to our survival — so our thoughts naturally go here first.
However, a single negative word can increase the activity in our amygdala (the fear center of the brain). This releases dozens of stress-producing hormones and neurotransmitters, which in turn interrupts our brains’ functioning. (This is especially with regard to logic, reason, and language.) “Angry words send alarm messages through the brain, and they partially shut down the logic-and-reasoning centers located in the frontal lobes,” write Newberg and Waldman.
According to the authors, using the right words can transform our reality:
By holding a positive and optimistic word in your mind, you stimulate frontal lobe activity. This area includes specific language centers that connect directly to the motor cortex responsible for moving you into action. And as our research has shown, the longer you concentrate on positive words, the more you begin to affect other areas of the brain. Functions in the parietal lobe start to change, which changes your perception of yourself and the people you interact with. A positive view of yourself will bias you toward seeing the good in others, whereas a negative self-image will include you toward suspicion and doubt. Over time the structure of your thalamus will also change in response to your conscious words, thoughts, and feelings, and we believe that the thalamic changes affect the way in which you perceive reality. *
Gives new meaning to to the phrase if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all doesn’t it?
Does anything about me that you have read hit home? Does it make you think more before you use me? If you use me the correct, positive way, I can change your life. I can change your brain, your way of thinking. I can change the environment. Be wise, I am a weapon, I am a healer.
But what do I know, I am only black lines on a piece of paper. I am only words.