Words Can Heal Or Hurt
Either Way, They Create Our Reality
We have to accept that if words are powerful enough to heal, if they can bridge the gap between heaven and earth, then they can also be wielded as a weapon. Used in this way, words have the power to wound, to cause pain, even to kill. We live in a society that values freedom of speech, and so we are allowed to say almost anything, even horrible, hateful things.
These words are the representatives of our thoughts and of the extent to which we’ve chosen either fear or love. Unfortunately, we live in a society that has become so distrustful that we live in fear of each other, and our thoughts and actions reflect that fear. This fear causes us to project hostility onto the world and to react to even benign situations as though they posed some threat.
Mantra, prayer, chant, poem, incantation, spell. These are all made of simple words. What supercharges them is the intention in our hearts.
We may use inflammatory words to express our distrust and fearfulness. On some level we may realize that what we are saying doesn’t truly reflect the situation ‘out there’or we may simply become blind to the disparity between what we say and what we know to be true in our hearts.
But even though our thoughts are not real and our words are not real, they do have consequences in the world. “Free will means we can think whatever we want to think, but no thoughts are neutral” writes Marianne Williamson in Return to Love. “There is no such thing as an idle thought. All thought creates form on some level.”
The recent mass murder at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, is the most recent, profound example of how inflammatory thoughts and words can cause real pain and suffering in the world. The accused shooter is a white supremacist who used words and the highly emotional appeal of racist propaganda to try to convince others that the fear and distrust which he has for other human beings is real.
We realize that there will always be people who mean to cause harm to others and we understand that we cannot control them. But we must also be mindful of our words because they do create form, and they do come home to roost on some level. When we use angry words or hateful speech we are saying that we find such behavior acceptable. Others believe that ‘if she or he is doing it then it’s not so bad.’
Most of us are not filled with hatred. Most of us want the same things: a decent way of life, the ability to spend time with family and friends and to be safe from harm. We probably aren’t actively putting hate out there. But we may not be doing what we can to silence those that are. We may not want to rock the boat and say ‘enough is enough.’
Our anger and fear have bubbled over into the political sphere, and though we in the United States complain about the gridlocked state of our government, it is an accurate reflection of the state of our country right now.
We need to stop demonizing each other, because we are literally creating our own demons.
All thought creates form on some level.
Words that are repeated and that represent the fervent wishes of our hearts can gain power, and we acknowledge that every day. Mantra, prayer, chant, poem, incantation, spell. These are all made of simple words. What supercharges them is the intention in our hearts. When we use them to heal, to comfort, to rally, we create hope and we strengthen the bond between each living entity on the planet.
The same idea can be used to send bad intentions out into the world. Words are repeated, words are distorted or misused until they mean the very opposite of what they really mean. Harsh rhetoric, evil intentions, negative affirmations, curses — all of these can be used to create despair and to tear apart our bonds to each other, to our planet and every living thing.
Mindfulness is key to unlocking the door to our collective prison. By observing our thoughts day we can come to understand that they are not solid or set in stone. They ebb and flow like the ocean. Rather than reacting to every thought we have, we learn to choose a path of action that seems wisest after consideration. This keeps us from hurling angry words out there, and without question we create more space for dialogue and for trust.
With our increased focus on our words, let’s not forget to practice kindness as well. Kindness elevates our lives above the grit and grime of everyday trials. It provides a measure of grace to our existence and it helps us realize that we are all connected — for real, not as some hippy/dippy platitude that we repeat endlessly without thinking about what that really means. What would it look like if we all acted like we believed that?
But just because we won’t all act that way doesn’t mean there is no reason for the rest of us to do so. On the contrary, it means there is even more reason to act as if we believed that we are all interconnected. Because there has to be a counterbalance.
Let us use our words for celebration, for song, for communicating ideas, for prayer, for mourning, for poetry, for education, for expressing our love for one another. By watching your words, stoking and acting on your innate kindness you perform real miracles.
Don’t think that it’s nothing. It’s absolutely everything.