Don Miguel Ruiz · power · The Four Agreements · Uncategorized · words · writing

the power of words

Not sure that this is necessarily a part 2 to the word post but another important thing to think about, so I shall.

We give words their power.

Let’s examine a few examples

“I love you so much baby”

“It’s over”

“I can’t believe you did that”

Just words but you probably felt different things about each of those quotes.  Your life experiences attached an emotional response to those words.  For me, they evoke certain emotions, for you they may evoke totally different ones.

“I love you so much baby”

For some, the words you were dying to hear.  The words that bring you untold joy. For others, the words that you dreaded.  The words that you can’t return but are expected to.

“It’s over”

Did you feel pain when you read those words?  Are they the words that shattered your world and your heart?  Did you feel relief when you read those words?  Were those the words you were praying for?  Did you remember a time when you wanted so badly for something to be over it actually made you happy?

“I can’t believe you did that”

Did you feel this was a positive statement or a negative one?  In reality, it was neither.  It is simply a statement, how you perceived it, the emotions it brought you are again solely based on your life experience.

Words in and of themselves are just words.  The way words are used, the other words used in combination in order to make a statement, are still only words.  Our hearts, brains and life experience often morph words into balms or daggers.

I am not suggesting that when people use words, they aren’t attempting to convey a reaction, of course they are.  Again, it is a reflection on them, not you.  Someone may say something to you that feels like an attack, it may be exactly what they intended.  The point though is how you take the words.  Do you internalize them? Do you rely on the words of others to validate you?  You are the one who actually decides if the words of others have power or not.

One of my favorite books, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz talks about this a lot.  One of the 4 agreements is Don’t take anything personally.  It takes a lot of practice & I am not sure I have ever met a person who has mastered this skill completely but here is a tiny summary of this agreement –

‘Nothing others do is because of you.  What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their dreams.  When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of endless suffering’

It’s not easy if you have taken things personally for most of your life, but the more you practice it, it does become just a tiny bit easier.  You will probably find, as I have that sometimes it is easy, other times when someone says something that touches your deepest insecurities, it may feel almost impossible.

Remember, recognition is a victory.  You won’t always stop yourself from taking something personally but you will become more aware when it happens.  That my friend is progress and should be celebrated.  Don’t get discouraged when it happens, be proud of yourself for the realization.

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