By Diane Abdo, Psy.D.
Greatness of goodness can begin with a word.
In my work, I often find myself saying:
“Anticipate how your words will fall on the
heart of the person receiving them”.
The concept is simple enough. The action, however, relies upon the willingness to reach to others from the strength of kindness and compassion instead of the illusion of power that ego fosters.
Thoughts and words have energy. We can mold positive results in ourselves and others by our choices in both. If we anticipate the impact, of the messages we convey with our words, on another person, we create the opportunity to exercise the inherent responsibility we all possess: to choose to direct our power either toward good or other than good. Please realize that we are remembered by the feelings we inspire in others. By anticipating the impact of our words (and the tone with which they are delivered) we can be the soft place for hearts to rest, or something else…
I believe that we all have the ability to act from kindness, or from any point along the way from kindness to unkindness. Whether or not we give ourselves leeway to hurt others is an individual choice. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we are choosing our actions (including our words).
Word control takes us closer to thought management. Thought management influences the direction of our state of mind and then, ultimately, our emotional and physical states of being (if you believe the volumes of available Mind/Body research, literature and practice). The choice of words, and messages through words, that we make affect us as well as others. To know ourselves better, we must acknowledge our impact on others. Effective relating is, after all, not only a one-way experience. Even though we cannot control the choices or actions of others in response to, or resulting from, our words and messages, we are still responsible for our choices of word or deed; thus defining our own character and intent even more clearly. Sometimes negative information must be delivered. How one delivers that information is a statement about the messenger.
Using appropriate and positive word and tone choices (as tone must be consistent with the word content to be clear and helpful), we have the opportunity to create a legacy of lovingness by building empowerment in ourselves and others one word at a time.
Let’s take a closer look at how this “falling words” concept works. A personal example of the powerful impact of words on the heart comes to mind. Several years ago, while visiting friends in Chicago, I took an early morning walk and decided to bring back some coffee and pastries for my friends and their family. Starbucks was a new phenomenon in my life and I was very much looking forward to sharing my newfound delight. Somehow, it never occurred to me that I was going to have to carry back the goodies over approximately 10 blocks of unfamiliar and slightly hilly terrain. Undaunted and smiling with glee, I began my journey back with arms outstretched and filled with hot liquids and sweet and sticky things. Within a few minutes I came to realize that I had not yet acquired the skill of walking in unfamiliar territory while carrying wobbly things. About a quarter of the way back up a hilly sidewalk, soggy with various and fragrant half spilled beverages and with a creeping sense of defeat in my heart, I stopped to contemplate my options. Many had chucked as they hurriedly walked passed with un-spilled cups in their hands. My eyes focused back and forth between the garbage can on my left and the hilly sidewalk leading home that was ahead of me. Just as I was about to toss the whole dripping mess, a woman walking by said, in a warm and empathic tone, “It started out as a good idea didn’t it”. At first I braced myself in anticipation of a snide remark, such as: “Oh just give it up!” or “What a mess!” Instead her kind comment and tone inspired courage. I smiled and laughed then gathered my muster and moved on. From that point on, due to her gentle words, I enjoyed the abundant aroma surrounding me of expresso, hot chocolate and scones as I held my head high all the way back to my friends’ house. It was still a good idea!!
So, as you can see, the significance of well-chosen words is woven into the fabric of empowerment. Words have energy and that energy can build or destroy. Take the time to notice and practice how words can feel, both as you say them and as you receive them. Notice your motivation as the speaker. Then notice the impact of what is said as the receiver. Are your messages conveying respect, encouragement, belief, hopefulness, valuing and kindness? If not, choose other words. What type of psychological outcome do you want to inspire as you communicate with a person? What does that say about you as a person? Please be sure to practice tone as well; because, false messages are felt by others and can prevent trust, confidence or respect.
Words have the power to help or hurt others and, by extension, ourselves.
By choosing words that fall gently, we can, word-by-word, sentence-by-sentence, and intention-by-intention lift the hearts of others, contributing to growth and healing. In this way, we can develop a wave of kindness that swell hearts and builds limitless possibilities.
Dr. Abdo wants you to connect with your inner peace to experience and develop the sense of empowerment that is rooted in this awareness. Dr. Abdo believes that, with personal knowledge and enhanced life skills, an individual can actively participate in the course of his or her journey freed of unseen and potentially defeating influences. She approaches her efforts to help others grow with the deep belief that we must be consciously and proactively involved in the dance steps of our lives to reach our goals and actualize our dreams.
For more information contact Dr. Abdo at (561) 393-5363.
Dr. Abdo strives to help you connect with your inner peace and develop the empowerment that is rooted in your unique awareness. She believes that, with personal knowledge and enhanced life skills, you can proactively participate in the course of your journey. Dr. Abdo approaches her efforts to help you grow with the deep belief that we must be consciously engaged in the dance steps of our lives to reach our goals and actualize our dreams.