Words define us. Words confine us.

Words hold power.

Who we are; who we become; whom others see us as; whom we see others as seeing us as is based upon words. You are what you eat so the health food industry tells us—true; but you are also who you and what others say you are. For that drafts one’s definition of self.

Our first definition of self arrives at birth in the form of our given birth name. Who has not researched the meaning of one’s birth name and who among us has not asked our parents why that particular name which defines our identity was chosen?

Words not only define us with regard to how we see ourselves and how others see us, they also are a necessity for survival. Communication is key. I mean how can you order a hamburger if you don’t know what one is? Or a veggie burger those vegetarians among us. How can you say what ails you when a doctor inquires as to what ails you, if you can’t explain it.

We navigate life via definitions, expressions, interpretations. Preconceptions. Conceptions. Misconceptions.

It’s just the way we are wired and in our wired, or rather ever-increasingly wireless world, words, our usage of words, is an integral aspect of that which makes us human, of that which distinguished us from other mammals.
The definitions we give ourselves and the ones others give us become our labels, our identities. For better or for worse….sorta like marriage. Which is all good and fine when the labels or marriage have positive connotations. But you can divorce an incompatible spouse with a swipe of a pen on a legal document but it’s not so easy to divorce an incompatible preconception and identification of self. Especially if you are the one who imposes it.

So what do we do when words (either self-imposed or imposed upon us by others) maim us?

A recent study from Friedrich Schiller University of Jena in Germany has indicated that words associated with physical pain trigger association pathways in the brain that generate not only a physiological recollection but an actual physiological reoccurrence of the pain. “There was activation in the pain matrix to pain words,” Dr. Thomas Weiss told LiveScience.

According to the study, the brain’s pain matrix is the storage place for past memories of painful experiences. This storage area later functions as a reminder to avoid painful situations in the future should we re-encounter them. “In both cases, we could observe a clear activation of the brain’s pain matrix by pain-associated words,” said study author Maria Richter.

The Germans are not the only ones conducting studies with regards to the power of words and their effect upon the human body and brain. Renowned Japanese researcher Masura Emoto has been studying this for decades.

His groundbreaking studies with regard to water crystals and the effects that not only words but prayer has upon water crystals affirm that words DO matter. When words of anger, hate and ridicule were said to the water crystals, the crystals would torque into horrific distorted images. Conversely, when words of love and healing were spoken, the crystals, even in the most polluted areas, transformed into beautiful images.

Ninety percent of the human body is composed of water.

So imagine the effect of healing that loving words showered upon humans, especially children would generate. So keep this in mind when you chose the words you wish to impart to yourself, to others. For words, the choice of words you choose, matters.

As always your experiences and input with regard to this topic is most welcome.


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