"The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush, but the words of the godly save lives.” (Proverbs 12:6)
I have always believed in the power of our words. I believed that they impact us at a deeper level then just on the surface. I am a spiritual being and it's no surprise that in many places in the bible you can find scripture speaking about the power that words hold. Look at God, he spoke the whole world into existence, and we are all created in his image. I know not everyone subscribes to this school of thought, and I respect that. But I think we can all agree that words hold power to make or break us.
Have you ever heard that if you look in the mirror every day and repeat positive affirmations to yourself that it will actually help depression, while changing your mood and self confidence? It's been written about many times, and psychiatrists across the world use this technique on their patients. It's all about reshaping the way your mind perceives the world. Without you even noticing it I bet that many times a day you say things in your head like "I'm not pretty," "I hate my body," "I'm so fat," etc. These negative thoughts cycle in our brain and effect us at our very core.
Don't believe it? I know, it sounds a little bit far-fetched, and I can imagine many of you are ready to stop reading. But I urge to look at the recent experiment done on tears. Ross-Lynn Fisher studied 100 different tears from human beings and found that our basal tears (the ones which lubricate our eyes) look vastly different from the tears that we have when we chop an onion. Also, the tears that come from joyous laughter look nothing like the tears which come from sorrow. The tears were taken from the same person, and yet time and time again Rose-Lynn could identify what kind of tears they were (happy or sad) due to how they looked on a microscope. Each tiny tear drop carries human emotion, and it truly is enough to blow you away. To see for yourself you can check it out by heading over to The Topography of Tears. This to me shows that if our thoughts are capable of changing the makeup of our tears, then why do we think that these same words and emotions don't have the ability to bring upon a change at a deeper level?
Before this recent tear study there were actually 2 more large studies done by scientists on the power of our words which I think is really important to share.
The Water Experiment
This first study was conducted by a scientist named Dr. Masaru Emoto. During the 1990's he set out to see how words affected things in its environment, specifically water. He first observed plain water under a microscope and photographed what it looked like. He then separated the water into many glass jars and enacted different things on each jar. Some jars he wrote words on such as "I love you," or "you make me sick,", other jars were prayed over and blessed, and some jars were introduced to different kinds of music or sounds. Afterwards, Dr. Emoto observed the water again under the same microscope. The change in the water was absolutely astounding. See for yourself below
The Rice Experiment
This next experiment took the power of words one step further by testing them on rice. Dr. Emoto wanted to see if words could be even more powerful than what he experienced with the water study.
Dr. Emoto poured water over cooked rice, which was placed into 3 different glass jars. He then labeled one "Thank You!," one "You're An Idiot," and he left one unlabeled to serve as the control. Then, every day for one month, Dr. Emoto spoke whatever word was on the jar to the rice inside. After the 30 days were up he observed the rice and the results (again), were astonishing. The rice labeled "Thank You!" was a clean yellow, and had began to ferment, giving off a warm aroma. The rice labeled "You're An Idiot" which had negative words spoken to it was completely black, completely rotting, and gave off a pungent odor. And lastly, the control rice faired the way any rice that was cooked and left out would fair... it simply began to rot, but wasn't near as bad off as the one which was all black.
Now, you might ask if this has been recreated. There are many videos of people who did this themselves, including here, here, and here if you are interested in watching the documentation of this experiment by every day people (non-scientists).
If words can do this to rice and water, imagine what it can do to our bodies (which are made up of 80% water by the way). When you have a chronic illness it's easy to be stressed out 24 hours a day. I used to find myself getting mad at my body for not cooperating. I would say things like, "My stupid stomach hurts," and negatively speaking to my body because it fatigued and hurting. I was angry that this was happening and I dealt with it by having these awful thoughts about myself. I would look in the mirror and analyze how horrid my pores looked and how lifeless my skin was. Day in and day out I didn't love myself deep down, and I didn't realize how detrimental it was to me until recently.
Everyone talks about "positive thinking," as if saying one positive thing a day will change things. It won't. It takes a complete overhaul to change old habits, and that begins by starting your day off looking in a mirror and complimenting yourself. And every time you start to have a negative thought (especially during a bad flare or bad pain), get a mirror and repeat positive affirmations. Learning to alter negative thoughts that sometimes went under the radar and switching them to positive ones is a long process, and I won't claim that I changed over night. But once I realized how powerful my thoughts and words were I knew that I had to alter this if I wanted to heal. I couldn't be stuck in this negative head space any longer.
We are humans, so that means we will ALL have bad days and we are allowed to sulk or have sorrow over how things are. We are allowed to vent and be frustrated sometimes. That's normal. But working to use our words to help lift us up is something I truly believe has a place in everyone's recovery. So the next time you find yourself getting angry with your body, try to rewire that thought and instead tell your body you love it for fighting hard every day. Post positive quotes and inspirational imagery all around your room or in your car. Do whatever you need to keep you reminding yourself to change the dialogue in your mind.
What do I do? Well I started off by implementing times during my day when I do a daily devotional, and times when I do spoken prayer with my mom. I speak to myself in the mirror whenever I am washing my hands and tell myself that I am a fighter and I will get through the battles of the day. I stopped belittling myself for looking lifeless and instead commended my body for fighting for me for so long even though it has had a really tough run, and that considering all of that I'm still me and I am still beautiful. Slowly but surely I started to believe it.