A word is dead
When it is said,
I say it just
Begins to live
Words are powerful. I tend to agree with Emily on this one. Some may argue philosophically that a word is merely a word, it is simply letters strung together. While philosophically speaking this may be true, even a philosopher would get arrested if they were to yell, “Fire!” in a crowded place where there was no fire.
Words do have power and an energy behind them. Some words more than others; I realized this last week when I listened to a band play at a local bar.
A rather large male acquaintance ( possibily intoxicated) angrily approached me: he was upset over something he mistakenly believed I had done. Before I knew it, this man called me the C-Word.
The C-Word, really????? Call a woman this word and things are not too pretty. I shouted back some powerful words…
Hearing him call me that word set off an automatic physical reaction in every cell of my body. It was as if my head spun around like Linda Blair in the movie “The Exorcist” and a strange voice from deep within my throat blurted out, “What did you say?”
This word hit me like a kick in the stomach. My anger and my blood pressure rose. Claws came out without thought; I was ready to pounce on this guy. Yet, as this was all happening, somewhere in the back of my head I was hearing my own voice say,“ Oh this will make some blog!”
I was not the sole reactor to the energy contained in this word. My girlfriends became very angry too. One male friend I was with automatically became an attack tiger. Hearing this guy call me that word enraged him. A shouting match, and male to male standoff began. It was almost amazing how automatic this all was.
The C-Word spewing hippo finally backed down and left the watering hole.
End of story. Beginning of blog.
It’s really not about the drama around being called the C-word by some angry guy I’m not really even friends with. I’m not here to analyzye his issues with women either. I’m also aware of what being called this word triggered emotionally in me, and I’m not here to analyze it ( not in this blog)
Part of me questioned blogging at all about this incident. I am aware that I have my own judgments, slight shame, and embarrasment about being involved with such a public display. But, life experience isn’t always pretty…. so I’m sharing.
Also, it’s really NOT about the C-word.
What does stick with me is the idea that the words we say have an energy and are powerful. What we say to each other, and more so, the words we tell ourselves affects us both emotionally and physically. ( even on a cellular level)
Do you ever think about what you say to yourself on a regular basis?
I have been trying to become more aware, because I know I talk to myself. I’m referring to those subtle times that I judge myself, “ Patty you should have handled it differently” or “Patty you should not let this bother you” “ Patty, that was a stupid!” “Patty, you look like crap today” “Patty, you should be a better person!” I’m really starting to hear when I do this…
I think we all have our variations of such self talk. I can be less compassionate with myself than I am with others at times.
Dr. Kristin Neff has done research about self compassion. Her work is fascinating and it supports what I intuitively and physically already know: that the way that I talk to myself directly affects my body. I don’t really require research to prove this, because my body shows me immediately.
I can feel it. I bet that you can feel similar sensations too. I feel that ping in my stomach; that headache. My eyes hurt, I get tired, drained. With enough self talk my body cells simply react, much like the way my body cells experienced an automatic reaction to hearing the C-word.
In a way, it really is like “conditioning” the body.
Cells have memory, this is also a scientific fact. It makes sense then, that the words I keep saying to myself affect my body. The words you say affects yours. Words are powerful.
I realize that I cannot control the words others say, nor can I change them. Point being, my C-word bar incident. I can however, become more aware of the words I say to myself and how my body reacts to them. These words I can change. It simply takes a bit of “paying attention” on my part.
My words are powerful.
I’m going to use this blog as a basis for my upcoming Toastmasters speech, “Your Words Are Powerful” and relate it to the common fear of public speaking.
When it comes to public speaking, and the fear of public speaking, what words do you keep repeating to yourself? How do your words affect your body? Assuming cells have memory, it could be that those sweaty palms, or that tight throat is a form of cell conditioning? It is something to think about….