Words Have the Power to Harm and the Power to Heal

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The old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me" is one of the greatest fallacies ever perpetuated.

The basic principal of the law of attraction states that everything begins with a thought. Words are thoughts expressed. When they are negative they have the power to harm. When they are positive they have the power to heal.

When we are children we are especially vulnerable to what others say to us; especially our parents and other significant adults. Many problems we experience as adults are directly related to hurtful words said to us when we were growing up.

I remember a man who came to me for counseling. He had lost his job, his wife had left him and he had no friends. He was nice looking, talented and was articulate. In spite of that he had no self-confidence. He saw himself as a "loser," and didn't think life was worth living.

In the course of counseling, he admitted that he was an alcoholic and shared stories about his childhood. He came from a large family. He had a twin brother. They were not identical twins, but were extremely close even though they were not at all alike. His brother was quiet, well behaved, never drawing attention to himself. My client was loud and boisterous, always up for an adventure.

When they were in high school the twin brother was killed in an auto accident. My client was heartbroken. He loved his brother. But what really devastated him was the reaction of his father when the family got news of his brother's death. His father looked at him and said, "I wish it had been you instead of him."

He told me this story, tears streaming down his cheeks, and whispered, "I always thought he liked my brother better than me, but I never realized just how much. After that I really didn't care about much of anything. That's when I started drinking heavily."

While most of us have not had an experience as devastating as my client's, we have all had the experience of being hurt by things that others have said to us. When we are children and often even as adults we don't realize that the negative things the other is saying are almost always a reflection of their problems and issues and don't belong to us. Until we understand that, their words have the power to harm us.

On a brighter note, most of us can remember things that were said to us that made us feel good, valued and proud of ourselves. Those positive messages raised our self-esteem and helped us believe in ourselves. For most of us they outweighed negative things that were said.

One of the most touching examples of the healing power of words was shared by Mary Ann Bird in Guideposts Magazine. Mary Ann was born with a cleft palate. She said, "When I started school my classmates made it clear to me how I must look to others: a little girl with a misshapen lip, crooked nose, lopsided teeth and garbled speech. When classmates would ask, 'What happened to your lip?' I'd tell them I'd fallen and cut it on a piece of glass. Somehow it seemed more acceptable to have suffered an accident than to have been born different." She confided that she was convinced no one outside her family could love her, or even like her. "Then," she said, "I entered Mrs. Leonard's second-grade class.

Every year there was an annual hearing test given at school. It was a "whisper test." Each student was required to go to the classroom door, turn sideways, and block the opposite ear, while the teacher whispered something from her desk, which the child repeated. She said she didn't want the others to know that she could barely hear out of one ear so she just pretended to block her ear when it was her turn.

She wondered what Mrs. Leonard might say to her. The previous year the teacher had said, "The sky is blue." When her turn came, she turned her bad ear toward Mrs. Leonard, plugging up the other just enough to be able to hear. She reported, "I waited, and then came the seven words that changed my life forever." Mrs. Leonard said softly, "I wish you were my little girl."

We are often unaware of the impact our words have. We all have the power to make a difference, for better or worse, in the lives of other people. Awareness is the key.

About the Author:

Benni Heacock is the co-author of "The Law of Attraction: The Next Generation" and co-owner of Innovative Parenting LLC, home to the "Missing Secret to Parenting", a company dedicated to helping parents teach the principles of the law of attraction to their children to provide them with the skills to live their best life! For more information and insights click on: http://www.InnovativeParentingLLC.com

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