Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Impact of Words

Words….I just love words. I love the “feel” of some words…the image they project, the feelings they inspire, and even just the sound of them. I definitely have favorites….ones I use incessantly. There are also words I dislike, words that make me cringe inside, that hurt my feelings. Sometimes I think we forget the power that resides in words - - we forget how they affect those around us and even how they affect ourselves.

I am trying to get back into the habit of running. For me, running is just that - a habit. If I keep my momentum, I will run every day without much thought to it. If I start to blow it off…..it’s harder to lace up my Rykas and step outside the door. It’s important to me to keep on track - when I run, my clothes fit better and I am a more confident and stronger person. I got out of the habit of running during the recovery of my partial hysterectomy a year and a half ago. I tried to pick back up the habit last spring, but there were days where my insides jiggled too much, I would have pain, would freak out and stop (yes, I am a closet hypochondriac). I tried to pick the habit up last summer but I was too busy. I tried to pick up the habit last fall, but the weather did not cooperate and so on and so forth……hence……I gained 15 pounds and my clothes are a bit….well….tight.

Running is more of a mental exercise for me than anything else. I get bored….or more telling…I simply get mentally tired of running. I will tell myself, “don’t stop - don’t stop- DON’T STOP” and the second the words go through my brain, I stop. Recently, I have changed my mantra - I tell myself, “Go Becky…..just go!!” This changes things for me mentally. The power of a proactive word for me is incredible! Telling myself to “do” something instead of “don’t” do it pushes me to do the right thing.

Proactive words work for children as well. When I would tell my son not to have a “tone” when he spoke to me, a tense discussion ensued about whether or not he actually had a tone. However, when I requested that he speak to me respectfully, his tone would change. The words, “Don’t be late” changed to “remember to be on time.” Our relationship improved dramatically.

Words can do damage. When I’m angry, I sometimes say things I don’t mean. The next day, I’ve forgotten them because…..well….I didn’t mean them…so they were of no lasting consequence to me. However, my words of anger take root in the person on the receiving end. Those words become part of the hurtful “tape” that plays in their head. By flinging my words carelessly, I have caused another person to hurt…not just upon receipt…but over and over again.

When I am the recipient of hurtful words, more often than not, the old Becky arrives on the scene….batten down the hatches…..drop the sail….circle the wagons…..don’t be vulnerable….don’t care….focus on something else…..all because of a few words…..a few….little….bitty words. Words are powerful things.

1 comment:

dluvscoke said...

Love this post. It reminds me of the lyrics to that old Cher song 'If I could Turn Back Time'.