THE POWER OF WORDS
Last night, I caught myself doing the very thing I despise. Just as I was about to yell out of frustration at my disobedient two year old who wouldn’t stop screaming, I paused. I took a breath and thought, for once I’m going to not. Even despite the horrid day the world and I felt, and my irritation and non patience at the 5 o’clock hour, I stopped. I came down to my two year old’s level and I held his wet tearful face against mine and I said “Come here son, momma’s here. Momma’s here. I love you. Momma’s here.” I held him. Held him tight and didn’t want to let go.
I knew this was the better way to mother. His heart stopped racing, his tears stopped falling. He softly kissed me on my lips and put his arm around my neck and his breathing was calm. He was good. He was better. He heard me. And my words soothed him.
In a world I don’t understand these days, filled with evil and discontent from sea to shining sea, I sat on that floor overcome by emotion. And the only thing that made sense to me, was the love I was holding in my lap. And I prayed. And thanked God. And it dawned on me. No wonder he’s better. Yelling and being angry doesn’t make someone listen, it infuriates them. But loving them and offering your hand, it calms them. Wow. Suddenly I thought. What if everyone had someone to whisper in their ear “I love you” and held them until their sadness went away? What would that be like?
It got me thinking rather than spewing more demise about this world and the way in which people are ruining it day by and day and word by word. Aside from having a tough day with toddlers and the world being filled with hatred, the internet didn’t feel safe either. It felt yuck. Unstable. Divided. Mean. Unjust. And I had to turn it off. All of it. And sitting on a dirty kitchen floor holding my twin sons felt the most right. The most healing. The most safe. And the most love. And my thoughts continued.
The power of words. They hold so much power. Power in life. Power in death. And if we have the power to use words to spread love and healing, why wouldn’t we use the resources in which to do it? Why? Perhaps because we live in the land of the free and everyone feels the right to say anything they feel. And I get this. But words have power. And ugly words are just hateful. And hate is sad. I'm sad. I can't even process what's happened. My own daughter told me her school practiced lockdown yesterday. LOCKDOWN. She went on to explain what that is and how quiet her and her friends have to be at lockdown to hide from bad people that might have bad weapons. I practiced earthquake drills when I was in school. Not lockdown. Be sad. Be outraged. I'm outraged. But the world isn’t as it once was. And all I know is what the world needs right now is love. And healing. And kindness. And prayer. And yes, policy change combined with serious control of illegal gun trafficking and real access to mental health care, and we all know that change when it comes to politics, is not only a slow effort, but a frustrating and infuriating one. And I think if one uses one’s words to convey thoughts on how we can do our part to change government, then have at it. 100 percent. But also, what if we roll back to basics and unite as people in a nation and use our words of wisdom as acts of kindness, aren’t we promoting wellness and growth as humans? Isn’t it our job as humans to connect to other humans in order to heal and eventually love? And if we do just that, is it possible to not only change the world, but change who we are and how we feel and doesn’t that have the ability to change everything?
I don’t have a huge platform. I’m not famous, or rich or laden with power. But as I look at my children and the sudden change in mood from distress to calm with the simple touch of my hand and love from my heart to my voice, I’m certain that if the world used their words in such a manner, on the internet, in their home, at work, on the playground, mother to child, friend to friend and lover to lover, not only would we strive, but we would heal when we most certainly thought we couldn’t. Just food for thought. And also my prayer.