The Power of Words
I have a daily practice of saying affirmations. I publish a new affirmation on my Facebook account every day (ok, on most days….). Affirmations are a way in which we can “reprogram” our subconscious mind, replacing thoughts that no longer support our highest goals.
I hear so many people say something to the effect of, “Simply repeating the same thing over and over to yourself isn’t going to change anything! It can’t be that easy!”
And yet these are the same people who are wearing “Duck Dynasty” hats, “Keep Calm and (fill in the blank)” T-shirts and who hum the latest jingle to their favorite fast food restaurant as they wait in the drive through to order.
The Bible says “In the beginning was the Word.” Words are what creates. We first have a thought, which is nothing more than “silent words”, and those words are energy that is put out into the universe and when enough energy surrounding those words accumulates, those words take physical form.
You’re frustrated at work yet you say nothing. Every day, your frustration level increases. Soon you begin to notice that you’re having stomach problems or your blood pressure is rising. These are physical manifestations of your thoughts of frustration.
You think of a new idea for a more efficient way of doing something at work. You spend time putting together a presentation for your boss. She loves the idea and your original thoughts are now a new company policy and you have a nice bonus check to bank.
You want to try skydiving, but you keep thinking “What if the chute doesn’t open?” or “What if I land in a tree?” and soon those thoughts create a real fear and you don’t ever go skydiving.
There is an undeniable trend in society today: we are becoming more and more violent. We see this violence manifested in our lives every day: mass shootings— some by children, suicide bombings, car bombings, people murdered over the clothes they’re wearing, road rage….
Some say that art imitates life, but I’m of the belief that it goes both ways: life also mirrors art. The movies we go to see, the video games we play, the television shows we TIVO so we don’t miss a single episode, the books we read, the music we listen to— all have become so much more violent.
The lyrics of some major artists like Eminem (among many others!) glorify the beating, degradation and even rape of women.
Television shows, especially “reality TV” shows like Survivor and Big Brother, glorify lying, cheating, backstabbing and deception in order to win lots of money. “True life” shows like “Wives with Knives” and “Deadly Affairs” (among many, many others) make murder and violence a big money venture. Other reality shows, like “American Idol” and “The Bachelor” take special pains to show some of the participants in their worst possible light, some even making entire episodes that are devoted to making fun of someone for following their dream.
Video games, wherein a player gets to rape a prostitute or steal cars or shoot gays or burn down buildings, are being played by children who are far too young to understand the difference between fantasy and reality. The traditional joystick has been replaced by guns or steering wheels or “wands” that recognize the realistic movements one must make to accomplish what their character onscreen is doing, thus blurring even further for some the difference between reality and fantasy.
Of course, the makers/publishers/producers/directors/writers of these violent media products deny that these have any influence on the level of violence in society. They say that they’re only giving the people what they want. Then they turn around and spend $4 million dollars on a 30 second commercial to play during the Superbowl because they understand the power of advertising and the power of words to influence what you buy and what you think.
And that is the paradox with the power of words. Until you recognize that words only have the power that you give them, words have an enormous power over what you think, what you feel, what you believe and what you do. The more you understand that the power of words is in your control, the less power words have over you.
We have been inundated with words from birth. These words, because we do not yet understand that words have no power over us, affect what we think, feel, believe and do. And we hear them repeatedly, time after time after time. The average person in today’s western society sees more than 240 images every day that are specifically aimed at advertising. That’s not including the ones our brain does not register. We’re hearing these messages over and over and whether we want to admit it or not, if we’re not doing something to consciously prevent it, those messages are becoming part of our subconscious thinking and directly influences our behavior and our thinking patterns. (There’s a reason subliminal advertising is illegal!)
And so we come back full circle to the use of affirmations. Affirmations combat those messages from advertisers that say we can’t be happy unless we buy their product or we won’t be pretty unless we use this make up or we won’t find our true love unless we use this perfume or we’ll lose our partner to another if we don’t know how to perform this particular act.
Affirmations are taking conscious control of our subconscious. We are reprogramming the subconscious and building a wall of protection around it that limit the influence that media input of all sorts has on what the subconscious believes. In doing so, we are creating our own reality in which our happiness doesn’t depend on anyone or anything but ourselves. In which Love is not measured in how many times we have sex or how big the ring is on our finger. In which success is not determined by how big the house we live in or the label of the clothes we wear or the kind of car in our garage. In which beauty is not determined by weight, the appearance of age, the color of our hair or whether we have “flawless” skin. In which the world of peace and harmony and brotherly love that we all profess we want to live in becomes reality.