Words are powerful tools for healing (or harm).
Think about the words you use in your mind without ever letting them slip from your lips.
You sit in front of an acquaintance and they talk about their child as if their child were the only amazing child in the world. Where does your mind go?
You stand at the checkout and listen to the guy in front of you complain about how slow the cashier is. Does this prompt you to agree OR to smile at the cashier and tell her to take her time?
Maybe in moments when you’re in a rush, someone driving with 4 inch glasses pulls in front of you and starts to look around as if they’re taking a walk in the park. You have an immediate flash of anger and then choose compassion and take your foot off of the accelerator and slow down. Maybe you see how your REACTIONS stop you from having peace in your day.
My goal? No. My MISSION? My mission is peace of mind.
It’s all a matter of value, though. I value peace of mind, and I value the words I use. They promote or inhibit peace of mind.
If you can find one moment of compassion for the cashier, who most likely earns minimum wage and can’t afford health insurance, and honestly believes this is IT for the rest of her life, then show it. Smile. Let them know they’re doing a great job.
Use your words to make someone’s day. Then imagine how those words stop cancer from spreading. Or how that moment of verbal compassion helps someone last until they get their break at 4:15 without going insane.
Use your words to express yourself in a healthy way and the only thing that can come of it is a world without pain. Fears–We create our fears from a place of lack; Lack of trust, lack of information, lack of faith, lack of understanding that we, none of us, are alone. That inherent in all of us is the Angel Atom, the Divine Spark. Fear is the absence of trust that the Divine Spark is within us.
Let’s bring it down to Earth and concretize the concept. There are all types of fears and they don’t usually make sense to others.
Whaddya mean you’re afraid to drive on the freeway?
Whaddya mean you’re afraid to talk on the phone?
Whaddya MEAN you’re afraid to tell me the truth?
Seven years ago, when our daughter Eliah was six, she overstepped a boundary. My husband Dean became upset and she immediately said she was sorry, but we had heard sorry too many times without seeing a change in her behavior.
He calmly stated his point and she said she was sorry again.
Dean said, “I’m not going to accept this apology right now.”
Wow…she scowled and simultaneously whimpered. They told me their sides of the story and our daughter began to cry, no wait, it was more like an hysterical sob.
He focused on her lack of regard for someone else’s property and she focused on the fact that he wouldn’t accept her apology. It appeared to devastate her.
Dean calmed down. And I held her close to calm her down.
What the hell is happening to my family? I thought. Everyone’s gone bonkers.
Then Dean accepted her previous apology but that seemed to make matters worse. Her emotions were beyond consoling. We let her cry, and cry. She kept crying.
“Eliah,” Dean added, “It’s all right. Just please have more respect in the future for someone else’s stuff. Okay?”
She looked at me and whispered. “I can’t talk to Dad. I’m afraid.”
Wha…? Afraid? Whaddya mean you’re afraid to talk to dad? Dean’s one of the most caring, communicative dads on the Earth. I hid my surprise.
“Okay, Honey. Can you tell me why you’re afraid to talk to Dad?”
It took some intuitive investigation and then I felt it in my body….oh! I got it.
“Eliah cried through her words, “Maa’mmm. I can’t explain it in words why I knocked over the bike. I’m so sorry I did it. But I can’t tell Dad because I’m so afraid.”
“Oh, I see,” I said.
“Ya’ know Eliah, we’re all curious creatures. We do things to see what might happen. Even though you knew it wasn’t cool to knock over the bike, you did it anyway to see what could happen to it, right? Because we know you’re a very thoughtful person and wouldn’t intentionally cause harm.”
I was hoping to get her to realize that she was admonishing herself beyond Dean’s reprimand. When Dean refused her apology, it was her own fear come to light….that she was unable to forgive herself for causing harm. To feel all of that in a 6 year old body can be overwhelming.
“I think,” I said, “that you must feel so embarrassed that you did what you did and are having trouble forgiving yourself. Eliah, Dad isn’t angry anymore but you’re still crying. That tells me you’re feeling something big. What do you think?”
She cried a bit more.
“I think it might be important to tell Dad that you’re sorry now…while you’re actually feeling apologetic. Because before you said it just to cover your actions. Now, by saying it, WHILE YOU’RE FEELING IT, you’ll really mean it. And you’ll be able to FEEL HIS FORGIVENESS.”
Dean hugged her and read her a story. We couldn’t force an apology from her nor would we choose to. Dean made a funny comment about snot and tears and she laughed. Then she looked up and in her own words gave a true heartfelt apology–an apology not held in from FEAR OF FEELING.
We praised her for doing something appropriate, however uncomfortable it was. We applauded her for getting past a stubborn fear and for taking responsibility for her feelings and actions.
We showed her that overcoming a fear is no easy task regardless of age.
Think about how you react when you come from a place of fear. You might become stubborn or passive. You might cry or withdraw. You might become a control freakazoid.
Think about it and then when you’re faced with fear, stop. Pause. Breathe. Tell yourself that it’s safe to feel, safe to express, safe to be you without fear.
I’m going to say something and I’d like you to read it to yourself and then read it aloud while you stand and face a mirror.
I think you’re extraordinary.
How does that feel in your body? Whether you believe it or not, how did it feel to say that silently and then aloud?
Right now, if there is someone around you, stop reading this and turn and tell them that; even if you don’t like them, ESPECIALLY if you don’t like them.
Tell them you think they look great in that color. Or tell them that you think they’re doing a fantastic job. Tell them something YOU would love to hear.
And if you’re alone, stay in front of that mirror and say to yourself aloud, “I think you’re extraordinary,” at least three times a day.
Do this and watch what happens to your body, to your feelings.
Words. They heal and they harm. What’s your choice today?