Good Morning Friends!
I don’t often bring politics into my blog, but there comes a time…
My work is about words. Teaching, writing, counselling, telling stories and changing the stories of our lives. The words we use and how we use them have a huge impact on those around us. The old adage “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is hogwash. Words hurt. And words heal.
In a mindless world, it seems that in the hustle we blatantly hurl sounds that form words in a whirlwind of tweets, comments, grunts, imogis, soundbites and sideways utterances that either waste away into thin air or land like a thump in a passerbys heart with a soft landing or a harsh wound.
Thinking of course of Trumps recent ‘shithole’ remarks, how one statement can shake a world globally, stirring up humiliation and outrage in individuals and whole countries. It’s no different that a child insulting his neighbour with a razor-sharp tongue, only the neighbours are whole nations.
The most difficult but impactful mindfulness practice I have taught is mindful listening and mindful speaking. People are always astounded how little they actually listen and truly choose their words carefully.
How have you used words to hurt or heal? When you talk or listen, are you present?
Try it today:
When you talk: Make eye contact. Notice the person who is using their ears to hear you. Are you respecting their time and energy? Is is kind or even necessary? Not making eye contact, especially in children, can trigger the fight-or-flight response (guilty as charged!). We need human connection, not random noise.
When you listen: Try as much as you can to listen. Notice when you start thinking about what you are going to say next. You are giving a huge gift of your energy.
Deep healing on this planet can only come through deep listening. Compassion is listening in action and the world could use some of that!
I’d love to hear how that goes… it’s not an easy practice! Let me know in the comments below…
Make it a great day!
5 thoughts on “The Power of Words”
Sometimes silence speaks louder than words. For instance, if someone insults you it may be better to give yourself time to cool off before you respond .
Absolutely… and you might choose not to respond after you cool off!
I am so with you on this one, Madeleine! (I’m with you on pretty well everything, but being a word person, and dealing with folks who need to change their words about themselves into more positive ones, I totally get it.
Well written, well received. I.e., well said, well listened to !!!
Oh yes.. listening to how we speak to ourselves could be a bit kinder too 😉