Words can be very powerful as your words are powered by your intentions. They can be used to stir a nation to freedom and also to hold people prisoner. Parents have used words to build confidence or destroy self esteem. You can’t have it both ways.
Do you remember being at school where, no matter how hard you tried, those words of another really hurt? Whether it was a so called friend that spoke behind your back or you were openly ridiculed, we have all been in situations where others have used words to demean and belittle.
What Makes Words Powerful?
So what makes words so powerful? It is the listener that makes them powerful. Determined by your background and resulting self love, who you have become is the filter for all that you hear. Therefore there can be laughter around you and you will participate or there is laughter around you and you can feel lonely and ostracised. We are the ones that determine how we hear or interpret. But if you haven’t been taught how to do this, it can be unrealistic to expect someone to process words in a way that supports them.
Sure it isn’t your fault how someone sees you or reacts to what you say, but each and everyone of us has intentions. You may or may not be aware of what yours are. However, during the day they will become evident by how others are responding to you, whether they are family, friends or school mates.
Developing New Patterns
For the past week, each morning, I have set my intentions to ‘speak only words that uplift and that anything I say will not diminish another’. That’s important to me at the moment and I know that 21 days creates a pattern.
In this way, I can confidently approach the world without having to be aware of what I say, as my intentions will guide my speech. And people respond to my intentions, not my words. I can be confident that the words I speak will be clothed in friendly dress. It is working well as I am not having to watch what I say, or wonder whether what I say will offend.
I have heard it said that those who talk to you about someone, will always talk about you to someone else. Think about this for a moment. What it is saying is that if you are participating in the spread of gossip, you will always become the subject of gossip too. That’s very true and also potentially harmful.
Per Adua Ad Astra (Through Adversity to The Stars)
While it isn’t your place to try and please people, as that is up to them, it also isn’t your place to demean or belittle another. You never know what is going on in their lives. I remember Og Mandino, the most widely read inspirational author in the world, was at a low point in his life and walked past a gun shop where he wanted to buy a gun and bullets for $25. In his pocket he only had $20 and since it was cold, he went to the library to warm up. He came across the self-help section and began reading W. Clement Stone. The words of Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude, inspired him immediately and he changed his life.
Gerald Jampolsky, author of Teach only Love and many other loving works was a psychiatrist who became very depressed. He was given a copy of A Course In Miracles manuscript to read over by a friend (under the guise that it needed checking) and the words changed his life. He is now 93, active on Facebook and still an inspiration to millions.
You never know where people are in their lives and even though it isn’t your responsibility to find out, it is a part of our inner compassion to nest our words in a way that are encouraging to any that are listening.
Where Intentions Make A Difference
See unless you feel loving, you can’t speak words that are loving, if you don’t feel joyful you can’t speak words that are joyous, when you don’t feel encouraging, you can’t speak words of encouragement. That’s where your intentions come in. When you set your intentions to feel good and that you only speak words of encouragement, then you have set your day up well.
My kids soon recognised the benefit of this when they were going to school. Each morning I would get them to set their intentions just to have a great day, no matter what. When they did this they would have a good day, but when they didn’t have a good day, I would ask them if they had set their intentions that morning. Inevitably they would say no. I encouraged them to do this when they learned to drive as well. In this way they didn’t have to know what was going to happen, they could just align themselves with the best of life.
Everyone Deserves Your Respect, Even You
So a part of the bigger picture of compassion is that you respect others, no matter who they are or what they believe. Their way of life is not contagious and you aren’t agreeing with anybody, but it is important that you respect. Not the commanded respect as taught to a child for an adult, but the respect that admires another for their life choices, no matter what they may be. It is much more important that an adult respects a child than the opposite, as we teach only be example.
Ultimately, no matter who you are, you always have a choice with your intentions and your words. To be a lifeline and someone’s inspiration or to be the ‘straw that breaks the camels back’ and reap the consequences.
Each year in the US nearly 45,000 lose hope and kill themselves. Sometimes on their own and other times taking many people with them. 25 times that many also attempt suicide. If you can inspire hope with your words, directed by your intentions, then you can truly change the world.