Our words and thoughts are intimately connected. Words arise in thought and then create a current of reality as we release them into the world. Come to think of it, the word may be the single most powerful force in the universe. Traditional cultural and religious writings commonly refer to the beginning of time when there was only a sound or a word that vibrated throughout all of creation. And it was with the word that life as we know it came to be. In a similar way, our words, whether we think, speak, or write them, spark creation in our lives every single day.
The legendary writer and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, was known to say, “Words are things… Some day we’ll be able to measure the power of words… They get on the walls. They get in your wallpaper. They get in your rugs, in your upholstery, and your clothes, and finally, in to you.” The words we use represent the thoughts we think and the life we are choosing to create each day. It is worth our time, not to mention our health, to examine the words that have made themselves at home in our minds.
If we want to know why life looks a certain way, we can start to examine the words we use on a repetitive or daily basis. How do we describe other people? What do we have to say about the country? When we are asked about who we are, how do we speak about ourselves? The words we reach for serve two purposes. First, they create our reality; our words become what we expect to see and, eventually, what we come to experience. If we talk about life as sad and hopeless, then that is all we will ever know. Second, words can discourage or encourage us based on how we use them. If we embrace words of despair then we will always find cause to give up. But if we reach for words of hope, we will always search for a reason to look up.
So… words – thoughts – health – there is a powerful connection to be made. If we think and speak of ourselves as sick and weak and vulnerable then that is exactly what we will become. But if we can reconsider to create ourselves as vital, whole, and energized, we just might come to know an improved quality of life. We might, possibly for the first time in our lives, see ourselves as individuals of dimension and depth. The diabetes doesn’t have to ruin our lives. We can acknowledge it, treat it, follow a plan of care, and commit to dietary changes and an exercise regimen. But it does not have to define or own us. It does not have to relegate us to a life of illness.
Through our carefully chosen words, it can become an opportunity to care more deeply for ourselves, to learn how to nurture our wellbeing, and to discover our resilience.
What words are you using to describe your health? Begin redefining it today.
Billy Rosa is a Registered Nurse, Integrative Nurse Coach Visiting Faculty, University of Rwanda