Sunday, 9 December 2018

The Power of Words by Preetha

Dear Blog Readers, 

This week, Preetha writes about how powerful language can be. One of the fantastic facilitators at Sheena’s Place, whom we shall call “Leah”, often speaks of the small changes to our vocabulary that creates changes in the ways we think and feel about ourselves and the world. “Leah” speaks of the invalidating word “but” as a way for judgement and shame to take their place in your truth. For example, one could say “I have not been symptomatic for 2 weeks”, or that same person could say “I have not been symptomatic for 2 weeks, but I know that it won’t last.” Any sentence that comes after the word “but” entirely erases the first part of the sentence. 

“I graduated from high school, but it was easy.”

“I was published in the New York Times, but the article isn’t that great.”

“I just got hired at this awesome company, but that’s because I totally faked my way through the interview.”

In DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy) the word “but” is replaced with the word “and” to express that too oppositional thoughts can exist at the same time. This concept has also been used in conflict resolution training for decades. For example when addressing a colleague about an issue one might say “I understand that you disagree with me, and at the same time I think I have made some valid points”. 

Words to explore:

I would love to hear from you about other words that can change our thinking, and examples of how the power of words have affected your life. Please email me at or comment here by clicking the “comment” box below. 

You don’t have to write a whole story or an article, you can write a few sentences to inspire or remind us about how much influence language has over our thoughts, emotions, interactions, and experiences. 

Take care of yourself, and remember to nourish your mind, body, and spirit. 

Your blog moderator, 

Date: June 2017
Project 4: How to say it 
Title: The power of words
General purpose: To inform and persuade
specific purpose: After hearing my speech the audience should understand the power of words

  Words are so powerful they can cause death or save life.  I took a writing course with Beth Kaplan, an author and creative writing instructor at Ryerson University.  She explained the power of words using an illustration with the diary of Anne Frank.  Little did Anne Frank know, when the Jewish people were being persecuted, that the words this child scribbled in a diary would one day have so much worth.  Words are power, they are so potent that they can build and destroy.  In the next few minutes I will illustrate and argue the power of If you want to kill without a weapon, use words. An example of this is bullying.  So many young lives are taken from this world because of bullying and words.  Words are capable of wounding someone so deeply that it can cause death. 

I would like to now talk about how words can save. I will use the example of the many distress centre that exist today to illustrate my point.  The Gerstein centre, Medic and so on and so forth are centres where people who are in distress can call for support.  The support is all oral.  Words save lives. People that are in distress are saved by words. So, words are so powerful that they can save.  

Love and hate are expressed through words. We all know the melody of words of romantic love.  Romantic love is expressed in words.  In fact, all forms of love are expressed in words and gestures. All the love songs that exist in any language are such a poetic and beautiful combination of words. Hate and heated arguments are also expressed in words.  When we get into a heated argument we often express our anger verbally and we end up regretting it and apologizing.

Knowledge is acquired and shared through words.    And I think knowledge is power hence language and words are power.  Humans think in words.  Words are everything happening in the world.  All the written holy scriptures started with words.  History and religion is preserved and remembered using the power of a pen and paper.   I live on words. Words sustain me and keep me alive.  I consider the written word to be my companion.  I read an average of one wisdom books per month and I usually take two classes per semester.  I love language, words and knowledge. I am passionate about these things. 

In conclusion words are potent.  Words can really hurt a person.  Words can kill and sustain.   Words can damage a person so deeply that they can create a wound so deep that the only solution one sees to the suffering is to take their own life. Words also have the power to heal.  A person in distress is often helped verbally. Love and hate is expressed verbally.  So, I invite you to control your tonged, watch the words you utter and think before you speak.  Once a word is uttered it cannot be taken back. I 'm going to leave you with a quote from Nathaniel Hawthorn who was born in 1804 and was an American novelist, Dark Romantic, and short story writer.  

 “Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”

Work published on this blog is property of the writer/artist. Content is edited and approved by the moderator. This blog is not a substitute for medical advice. Please see your health practitioner if you have concerns about yourself or your recovery. 
If you would like to share your stories, writings, and art, please email
If you or someone in your life is struggling with an Eating Disorder, you can contact the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) at
For information or to register for groups at Sheena's Place, please visit

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave us your comments and join the conversation! All comments will be approved by the moderator before being posted. This is to ensure that this client-centred space remains as safe as possible.