We all know the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” We probably have said it as kids at least once to those who have called us names, and heard it said by others.
But the saying just is not true. This came to mind as I was writing this quote in my journal by Rudyard Kipling, “I am by nature a dealer in words and words are the most powerful drug known to humanity!”
The words we hear as children and as adults affect us for good and bad. Heard often enough we can agree with them and even start to believe them, and then start to live those words out.
But I think some of the most damaging words are the words we speak to ourselves, about ourselves. The, what some people call, inner chatter, or the self talk.
The quote above was from a documentary DVD that I watched the other day, called “Hungry for Change.” Even though this is a food and diet documentary, it does talk about how until they stopped the inner chatter to become healthy, totally and holistically healthy, was hard. I believe that the body and mind are connected, intertwined, you cannot separate them. The people that are in the documentary had much to say about this. They had a hard time getting healthy until they stopped listening to those negative words that they spoke about themselves, and started to have a different view of themselves.
We would not put up with someone else constantly talking at us with put downs and nasty words, but why do we put up with it in ourselves?
In “Hungry for Change”, best selling women’s author, Dr. Christiane Northrup says that she gets her patients to write on a sticky note, “I accept myself unconditionally right now”, and post it on the bathroom mirror and for 30 days say it twice a day to yourself in the mirror. This starts to plant new pathways in your brain.
Brain research has shown that what we say or think has certain pathways in our minds. The more these words or thoughts are thought and mulled over, the more they wear a well-trodden pathway on those pathways.
It takes time to get a new pathway started, so that the old one can get overgrown and not be used anymore. It is a necessary process if we are to accept ourselves and I believe, to live our lives in freedom and health. Although it is not a quick process and not one without anguish at times, it is possible, due to what neuroscientists call, the plasticity of the brain. It involves taking a hard look at where these thoughts and lies originated from, and what we do with them. More on this in the part 2.