Words, words, words, we use them constantly. They are all around us – we hear them, we see them, we speak them. We internalize them. And that is the point of this post, we internalize words. And we allow them to influence us, positively or negatively.
A bit of background, I pray with people using the Unbound prayer model. And as I pray with people I am struck by how much of an effect words spoken to us stay with us. Sometimes they seem innocuous, “silly girl,” “clumsy boy,” “don’t be a crybaby,” “it’s no big deal.” Other times they are more hurtful and repeated to us over and over again, “why can’t you be like your brother,” “you’d be pretty without those braces, glasses, pimples, extra 10 lbs.” The list goes on. And those are things we hear from others. What about what we say to ourselves in our head, “I’m so stupid,” “I have no sense of direction,” “my idea is bad,” “I can’t do THAT.”
Some people might call these word curses. Words spoken over us by others that are lies. And we internalize them and believe them and lead us to say them, in way or another to ourselves. What is interesting about this is that I can spot other people’s lies much more quickly and easily than my own. I know I am not stupid, but wait, what about those multiplication tables? You know why I don’t know all my multiplication tables, because I believed the lie that I wasn’t good at math when I was in the third grade. What do you believe about yourself that is not helpful or true or good?
I find myself watching my words more carefully these days. Especially with my family since those are often the people we are so comfortable around we may speak without thinking first. When I hold my grandsons, I tell them how much they are loved and that they are wonderful. Of course, it’s easy now, they still fit on my lap! But the truth is that is what we all need to hear.
We need to stop believing the lies of our past. And we can, in the name of Jesus. We can forgive those who hurt us with those lies, in the name of Jesus. In the name of Jesus, the evil one cannot stand; he flees. In the Catechism, #444, it says, “The evil spirits fear his name; in his name his disciples perform miracles, for the Father grants all they ask in this name.” We are his disciples; pray in Jesus’ name.
There is so much more to say on this topic on the power of words. I will make two suggestions; read the Letter of James, it speaks to the power of our tongues, and if you want to rid yourself of the lies you believe and live a life of true abundance in Christ, read the book Unbound by Neil Lozano.