Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Power of Words

As someone who has spent their life loving to read, I thought that I really understood the power of words. But teaching yoga(not as physical fitness,but a mind/body experience) and writing this blog have taught me the real power of words.

My mom had a very very sharp tongue and she was smart. She used words to cut you to shreds.
Of course, she knew her kids' weaknesses and which of our buttons to push, but she could do the same with anyone. It was a talent I never wanted. But I also realized that not only could words break you heart and spirit, they could mend a broken heart and give wings to a wounded soul.

Since I have been writing this blog, many of you have written me comments that I will never forget. I have heard from good friends and strangers, and I understand every day that words matter. Many days when I write, it is quite is to lift my burden or share my thoughts before they explode in my brain. You all have touched my heart and lifted me up in some very dark moments, and you have giggled and shared my twisted humor.

As I go about my daily routine, I really listen to those around matter where I am, whether it be work, Walmart, where ever. It never fails to amaze me, the words that come out of some people's mouths. For instance, one young mom talking with another, about what looks
like a two year old child" I can't do a thing with him". I am thinking, he is two years old, you are in your twenties and basically you are saying the two year old is smarter than you???????
I hear parents tell their children they are stupid, they are bad, they are dumb......... but I also hear adults say the same things about themselves.

Words are real. When I was seventeen, I picked up my one and only ever, hitchhiker(I heard the gasp)! He was a young hippie, probably in his twenties, I took him home, my parents fed him and he continued on his journey. A few weeks later, he showed up at my parents house,
a dozen red roses and two books, As A Man Thinketh, and Apples of Gold. As A Man Thinketh started a thought process that changed my life. But the young man told me, that I was one of the very few people on his journey that spoke with kindness, and he just wanted to repay my family and I in some small way. Of course, I never told him that after he left that first time,
my folks had told me in no uncertain terms to never pick up another hitchhiker, that I was really lucky.

As I write this blog, night after night, I feel an incredible responsibility to all of you. In my soul
I know that I have to say what is in my heart with as much honesty as I can muster.
Words can change your day, words can change your life. Words can save you, words can heal,
words can express love and tenderness, or show the darkness that lurks in all of us.

I know this much, when you speak without thinking, once those words come out of your mouth..... you can't put them back in. You can apologize, you can beg forgiveness, but those words are out there for eternity. Ironically, one of my mother's favorite sayings was "if you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything."

These days words are thrown around so cheaply. The media, politicians, really are just talking
heads. Telling the masses what they want to hear, using sound bites to create fear and hate.
I wish that some how, some way, they would all step up to their responsibilities, to understand how their words are destroying and dividing. But you know, the scary thing, I think most of them understand the power of their words.

I understand that when the day comes and I no longer live in this body, my words will live on, whether in songs, writings or memories. I want my words to matter, to use them wisely, to always understand their power.

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