The Power of Words

Posted by Mary D'Alba on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 Under: Articles
Words have so much power.  I think because we throw words around every day through discussions, presentations, reading, listening to talk shows, watching tv and so many other ways, words are around us constantly.  We forget sometimes they make an impact.
When we are having a discussion we have an option to hurt or heal.   We can say the truth with compassion or venom.  It is our choice.
I've recently had some intense conversations with several friends of mine.   They count on me to tell them the truth and I expect the same from them.  However, I am very cautious to make sure the truth is delivered with compassion, kindness and clarity.  It's a power that should be considered an honor because we place ourselves in the hands of others to cup us gently when we're down.  While hugs or a squeeze is a big help, most of the time, it's our words that soothe.
We often forget this while we're in the heat of a battle.  Have you ever been in the middle of a discussion that is tense at best and because of a sentence, just one sentence, it explodes?  The screaming starts, the insults are hurled and feelings get hurt. 
Once those words come out of your mouth, there is no taking them back.  "I'm sorry" heals but only so far if you go for the jugular.  Words sting and that burn can stay for a long time.  Trust can be broken with several words and damage done with no chance for repair.  Maybe it is your intention to that - to sever the relationship forever - but maybe it can be worked out without smacking someone over the head.  Yes, you have ammunition but once you fire the gun, there is no putting those words back into the chamber.
Just because someone decides to cut us with the sword of words, it doesn't mean we have to do the same back.  We can decide what we let out of our mouths.  Yes, people can hurt us with their comments but we don't have to do the same.  We can rise above going to the place of dismantling someone's heart by just saying those things we know are sensitive or can hurt.  Walk away and say you'll talk another day if you have to - it can't hurt to get some distance from the situation before you discuss it.
This is the theory behind "fighting fair".  It's not necessary to throw the kitchen sink of the past at someone.  When that happens, the issue at hand not only gets ignored but it gets even bigger.  The drama level gets turned up and now you're dealing with all those emotions, trauma and hurts that didn't have to be a part of the discussion at hand.  Deal with what's in front of you, not what has been left behind. 
If someone wants to take a walk down memory lane, take control of the conversation.  Let them know that you don't want to go there, that you just want to deal with what the issue is in front of the two of you and you'll discuss that and only that.  People may still try to distract you with other things but you can stand your ground.  It may surprise you how much shorter those conversations get when you're just focused on problem solving, not insult throwing.
So remember, there is power in your words.  Think before you speak and use what you say as a way to communicate how you feel.  When you practice compassion and love through you words, imagine the healing and kindness you spread to others and yourself.   It's all about creating new habits - your conversations can benefit from practicing what you say, how you say and when you say it.  Watch your words and see the power of them grow even stronger because of your good intentions.
~Copyright 2011, Mary D'Alba (Spiritualitygirl)~

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