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  • Marilyn Young

The Power of Words

Spirit has been drawing my attention to words/language a lot lately. The more I pay attention

to words and how we use them, the more I acknowledge how powerful we make them. We use words every day to respond to our own personal world and, whether we realize it or not, to create it. Without us, words have no power. They just sit on a page or in someone’s mind and exist neutrally as they are. Words have power when we use them. They draw their power from the circumstances of their use and the emotion attached to them. Nathaniel Hawthorne, an American writer in the 1800’s described words as “so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” (Source: 50 Inspirational Quotes on the Power of Words)

Over the past few years, my awareness of the power of words has brought to light some interesting concepts for me. The most important thing has been how we use words – spoken, thought, or written - to manifest our reality either consciously or subconsciously. It is said that words crystalize perceptions which shape beliefs, which drive behaviors that create our world. Here is just one example…Recently, my husband experienced what could have been a life threatening health condition (you may have read about it in my previous newsletters). When he started to have symptoms, he worried about what they might be caused by but didn’t want to know. At that time, he said to himself,” Well, if I get a couple of good years…” And so, the Universe complied. He lived his life with no changes in what he could do until two years later when he had a crisis that brought his life to a screeching halt. He had subconsciously manifested a change in his health at the end of two years simply by thinking those words and believing them. The emotion (fear of a diagnosis) attached to those words cemented his belief in them becoming his reality. Thankfully, though, he has acknowledged the power of those words and now only looks forward to a long healthy future with positive thoughts and words.

So, even the words we hold in our mind, our thoughts, have power. Here is another example… On several occasions when I have gone to order a takeout coffee, I will be thinking

about one drink but at the last minute I change my mind and order a different one. Without fail, whenever I do that, the order I get is the first drink I was thinking about, not the one I ordered. I am always amazed, smile and remember a comment my husband recalls made by a family friend when he was a child – “Thoughts have wings!” Then I accept the order happily as that was obviously what I was meant to have! Have you had similar experiences showing you the power of your thoughts?

The words in our environment create images and thoughts about how our life should be or what it might be limited to. Most of that is based on the commonly agreed upon meaning of the words. Perhaps it is my nursing background that draws my attention to phrases used commonly regarding health and dis-ease. It is so common to hear “my psoriasis (or some other diagnosis)” – if you claim it as yours can you ever be rid of it? Or “my cancer came back” – if you claim it as yours was it ever gone? Or service advertisements such as helping people to “live with dementia”- why is the focus on the dementia which is described as a decline in cognitive abilities severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform daily activities? If you agree that you “live with dementia” are you perpetuating a faster decline in cognition? Perhaps the service tagline could focus on the rest of the person’s life that is positive such as “maintaining your independence.” I must thank my mother for this last example because she has shown me how her fierce belief in her regaining independence has supported her recovery, at age 89, from a fractured hip and shoulder. She repeatedly tells anyone who will listen that she is “a stubborn Dane” and “wants her independence.” How do you think about dis-ease? Do you claim it as yours, speaking about the awful symptoms you are having and suffer through it, or do you think about and speak to your speedy recovery/remission?

Other common areas in many people’s lives where words, spoken or thought, exude power are about money and relationships. Most people can recall a person or situation where the repeated lament is “I have no money” or “I’ll never meet anyone to spend the rest of my life with.” Those who repeat these complaints continue to do so for a long time as the Universe continues to oblige and create a reality for them of “no money” or “no relationship.” How is your “money talk”? What do your words tell you about your relationships?

It is said that words can bring happiness or sorrow, uplift or tear down, create or destroy. We hear the phrases “watch your tongue,” “mind what you say,” or “choose your words carefully,” all reminding us to be aware of the power of the words we use and their potential impact on others and ourselves. It is not only the words themselves but how they are delivered and how they are received. In the delivery, the emotion and behaviour attached to words can influence the receiver’s perception of them. For instance, the phrase “Don’t you just love that!” uttered

through gritted teeth, with hands on hips and an eye roll, would likely elicit a negative response in the receiver. On the other hand, the same phrase eagerly whispered in excited anticipation with a smile and hands clasped to the chest, might elicit a more positive response from the receiver.

The receiver also has a choice in how to respond to words heard or read. For example, we may make what we think is a benign casual comment in passing that someone may take offense to. They may choose to respond with a negative comment or a physical reaction versus ignoring it or agreeing with it. Each of us chooses our own reaction to words. We do not cause another’s reaction to our words but we can be aware of the potential perception with which they could be received. Ultimately, we do not have the power over another to create their reaction nor can someone else have power over us. The old children’s rhyme is true: “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.” That is, if we choose to receive them that way! We choose how we perceive and react to words, that choice gives the words the power that they have.

If we look at young children learning to speak or people learning a different language, it is the emotion that the words are delivered with that elicit a response when the receiver is not aware of the meaning. An example is how quickly my son, when he was a toddler, picked up on and started to repeat the word “sh*t” because he might have heard his mother use it a few times with intense emotion! When we are in an emotional state, we can be mindful of how that emotion will impact our words/what power it will give them. Will they cut through someone’s

vulnerability when delivered with hatred or contempt? Author Betty Eadie once said, “If we understood the awesome power of our words, we would prefer silence to almost anything negative.” (Source: 50 Inspirational Quotes on the Power of Words) We often refer to someone as having a “sharp tongue” if their words are hurtful. Someone once said, “The tongue has no bones but is strong enough to break a heart.”(Source: 50 Inspirational Quotes on the Power of Words) In those situations, would those words be better left, as Betty advises, to silence?

The power of words is quite strong when it comes to judgement. When we are having judgemental thoughts or speech, the words are often perceived as negative – “That’s crazy.” “I’m stupid.” “He’ll never make it out of high school.” Several months ago, I decided to monitor my judgemental thoughts and speech because I wanted to eliminate them. Always having been aware of not having judgemental behaviour, I was astounded by how often a judgemental thought might pop into my head – “That’s not right.” “That’s weird.” “That’s wrong.” The more aware I became, the more I found myself releasing them and staying silent`. I could look deeper at where they came from and release the fears or negative past experiences in which they were rooted. How often do you have judgemental thoughts or speech? Is there an opportunity to release them? To see what they might be rooted in?

Just as easily as words can cut us down, they can lift us up. Blaise Pascal, a French

philosopher from the 1600’s, reminds us that Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.” (Source: 50 Inspirational Quotes on the Power of Words). The power of positive words cannot be underestimated. A simple “thank you” delivered with a smile to a server can make their day brighter. The phrase “I love you” can turn an argument into a hug. Declaring your gifts lets the Universe and others know that you are ready to step into them. Others will seek you out because of them and you will grow. If we can be mindful of the words and phrases, we use daily, we can add to the positivity and higher vibration around the world. There is a ripple effect.

Betty Eadie also says, “In our thoughts and words, we create our own weaknesses and our own strengths.” (Source: 50 Inspirational Quotes on the Power of Words) How do you think and speak about yourself? Most people can readily describe their faults/weaknesses and when done repeatedly, we limit our growth. Many find it difficult to speak about our strengths, our awesomeness. But we should. It is imperative that we acknowledge our gifts, our strengths so that they grow and multiply. It is so important for us to recognize ourselves for the amazing beings of light that we are. This is where self love and our spiritual growth starts - positive self talk.

We are surrounded by words, heard, or read, in personal dialogue, through the media, entertainment (books, internet, television, movies, songs). They are the most common way we connect to each other in all arenas – family life, social situations, work, education, health care, politics, etc. Again, what makes words hurtful or wonderful are the meanings attached to them, the emotion attached to the delivery, and the perception of the receiver. As Tony Robbins, well known author, and speaker, once said, “Throughout human history, our greatest leaders and thinkers have used the power of words to transform our emotions, to enlist us in their causes, and to shape the course of destiny. Words can not only create emotions, they create actions. And from our actions flow the results of our lives.” (Source: 50 Inspirational Quotes on the Power of Words)

In the end, we give words their power by choosing them according to their meaning, attaching emotion to them, and delivering them within a certain context. We use them to respond to and create our reality and we can use them to influence the energy of the global reality. So, I have a challenge for you. Put the power of positive words into our world. Pick 1,3,5,10 or more words or phrases that you run across every day that you can release or reframe into something positive. For example, it may be a news headline such as “Canada is on fire. A look at the wildfires burning across the nation” could be changed to “Canadians open their arms to provide support to those threatened by wildfires as heroes dampen the spread of burning forests across our country.” (Although the article initially states that Canada has had 2293 wildfires to date, it focuses on the 414 still burning versus the 1879 that are out.) Another example is just to catch a judgemental thought you might have and question it, find the root, and release it. I would love to hear about your positive power words either through your comments on my Facebook page (Soul Messages Marilyn Young), or comment below this newsletter on my website, or even send me an email through my “Contact Me” page. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

In the meantime, I will leave you with Elton John’s Your Song that Spirit kept playing in my head to introduce this topic to me for this newsletter. It ends with how I feel about all of you …

Lots of love and hugs,



If you would like to learn more about the power of words, here are a few resources I have found helpful:


Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life by Dr Wayne Dyer


Intuitive Counselling and Angel Card Readings

If you have the need for a helping hand with releasing judgement or finding more positive words, I am offering intuitive counselling and angel card readings online or in person (in Calgary).

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