Words Matter …. More Than You Think
…More than you might think
“We seldom realise, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.” — Alan Watts
“Don’t ever diminish the power of words. Words move hearts and hearts move limbs.” — Hamza Yusuf
It has been proven (Richter et al., 2010) that words associated with pain impact the brain. When we are told something’s going to hurt, it increases the pain we feel. A recent study shows that the benefit we may wish to convey by warning people that something triggering may be about to happen actually makes people feel more vulnerable, and more attached to their past trauma (The following news release contains potentially disturbing content, 2020). Each word we use has the potential to strengthen or weaken our cellular chemistry. We need to choose them carefully.
If we’re going to release our fear, we need to change the way we speak.
Let’s start with the word ‘disease’
Here’s what a quick Google gives us:
“a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.”
With Meta Consciousness, we strike out the word ‘disorder’; it could not be more inaccurate. And it’s where all the fear originates. No. It is NOT a disorder. It is the absolute opposite.
Meta Consciousness reveals order in the process of dis-ease – notice the hyphenation. The word disease comes to us from old French, via Middle English and means “lack of ease.” So the choice by members of the alternative medicine community to hyphenate the word is not as odd as it first seems. Dis-ease is just that – a disruption of the normal ease of functioning. There may be symptoms, discomfort, pain and ultimately, death, but these are not the indications of disorder in the body. They are the signs of a body’s attempts to resolve trauma – physical or emotional – and bring itself back into balance. More of this in a little while, first, let’s go deeper into the impact of the ‘disorder’ view.
‘Dis-ease’ – we’re taught to fear the word
We’re told it needs to be defeated, that we must wage war against it. We’re battling endlessly with an unseen foe, set to wipe us out. From the words we say to each other on the doorstep, to the images and words on our screens, our communication is dripping with messages of vulnerability and fear.
Everywhere we go we are faced with reminders of our need to kill germs, protect our homes, defend ourselves against all forms of the invisible enemy. ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’ has been taken to the extreme and the fear it encourages might actually be at the root of many of our current health issues. Media focuses on magnifying the terror.
Advertisements tell us we need to fight, stand up to, eradicate dis-ease. We are told repeatedly that our bodies are attacking themselves randomly. That isolation is our only hope of avoiding infection… We are creating a world of cognitive dissonance. Our intuition tells us that wellbeing is our natural state. We are pummelled into believing otherwise. When people view symptoms as random, meaningless, endless, progressive, degenerative, cancerous and so on, it scares them to death. Literally. I’ve seen it happen. One dear friend was told he had 5 months to live. He died on time. To the day.
You don’t need to be scared to death
Truly. Your instinct agrees. You wouldn’t be reading this otherwise. Somewhere inside you, you sense the essence of an ancient paradigm, a paradigm in which there is no dissonance, no distortion, no disorder. A paradigm in which we are one with nature. Not at war with it.
My passion is to grow this paradigm. To help people see their bodies differently. So differently that, even when symptoms are causing pain, they will be able to look at what the body is doing with admiration and curiosity. They will see what’s happening as entirely meaningful and highly biologically intelligent. They will know that they can support our bodies, help them do what they’ve been trying to do all along – release conflict and set them free.
It is my experience that once we start acting with kindness and compassion to self and open a dialogue with our body that is when the unlocking of the innate wisdom of healing ignites.
Let’s ditch some associated words…
What other words do we use when we’re thinking about dis-ease?
We talk about being ill, being sick.
Ill is the very opposite of good. We talk about the ‘ills of society’, bearing ‘ill-will’, or sensing an ill-wind. It’s loaded with intent to do harm.
The word sick is the word we use for vomit and, like the word ill, it is used in purely negative terms to describe bad situations, behaviours and attitudes.
Describing ourselves as ill or sick does the body a great disservice.
Let’s ditch these words.
Are you okay with that? As we dissolve our fear of dis-ease, we see that even when the body is in distress or pain, it is always working towards health, life and the natural balance of wellbeing. Rising to the level of Meta Consciousness, we understand our place on the planet. We are part of a global organism. Homeostasis – the drive to maintain healthy balance – is the body’s prime directive.
About the word ‘why’…
Why is my body doing this to me? We may think this ourselves or hear others say it as they struggle with symptoms…
I deliberate over ever using the word ‘Why’. Yes, it really matters that much! Think about it — it’s the word we use to put someone on the spot, to demand they explain themselves. It’s loaded with accusation and judgement and very accurately will elicit defensive responses.
In my world, if someone asks a seemingly innocuous question like, “Why did you choose this colour for your kitchen?” I assume they think it a terrible choice! My brain freezes. I find myself mumbling apologetically about having seen it in a magazine somewhere and how I know it was probably a huge mistake but how it just seemed like a good idea at the time, you know?… And I was an interior designer, for goodness’ sake!
When we use that word about our body, we are putting our body on the spot. Bringing the freeze response into our very cells as we accuse them of plotting against us, when the opposite is actually the case.
The process of dis-ease is a perfectly healthy, biological response to damage, threat and injury, whether these be physical or emotional. Our body is always doing what it is programmed to see as biologically promoting survival.
The more understanding we have of the brilliance of our biology, the more we come to see ourselves as astonishingly healthy, especially when we’re puking, sneezing, sweating, aching, exhausted and a whole load more…
How wonderful to see dis-ease as our body’s replenishment after deploying superpowers on our behalf! How much happier we are to see our body as ‘in repair’ rather than ‘sick’!
Let’s choose words consciously to soothe and reassure.
Let’s listen to our symptoms and see them as calling for love.
Let’s bask in the beauty of our brilliant cells, working on our behalf, to bring balance and health to our lives.
In my next blog I’m going to invite you to look more closely at what is meant by health and how to keep our focus there, replacing our programming to see symptoms as signs of a body breaking down. And we will also explore in the future ‘Mental Health’ which personally I deplore…keep tuned.