Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Power Of A Word

The words we speak not only affect others, but they affect the speaker too. We assign meaning to the words we use, and these meanings register in our mind, affecting the way we feel. Sometimes one word is as powerful as several sentences. I call these single words that we use in certain circumstances "key words." When something pushes our buttons, just one word can get us over the bump.

Some of these words are "oh well", "really", "never", "whew" or any we use as habit. A few other choice words are used a lot today, but I won't mention them here. We use these words to reduce stress or just to express an attitude or feeling.

When my daughter was a small child, she was sitting on the floor trying to put a toy together while we visited with my mother-in-law. Suddenly, my daughter said, "Oh, dammit." As my mother-in-law glared in shock, I tried to cover up with, "I wonder where she got that." Then my daughter looked up and said, "What, Mommy, that word you use all the time?" Well, I gave a weak smile and tried to sink further down into my chair. Yes, I changed my key word.

My favorite word now is "whatever." Some people don't like the word, because it can be used in a negative way to turn people off. But others use it in a neutral way such as six of one and half dozen of another. I rarely use the word in conversation, but it's a great help when I push to frustration trying unsuccessfully to accomplish something. It has an amazing ability to release a load of stress when I shrug my shoulders and say, "whatever." To me, it means the situation is not the end of the world, so I can just let it go, at least for now. The word may not always bring the result I want, because I'm working on some deep-seated stuff that the word doesn't touch. But it eases my path as situations arise.

Life is a series of problem solving, and we need tools to help along the way. Think about it. Is there a word that sits well in your gut? Does the word express your feelings? It it does, but it doesn't hurt another person, then put it in your mental toolbox and use it when you need to release and lighten your attitude. We need all the help we can get. Use the power of the words you speak in a positive way.

Whatever with love,



  1. Hey Grandma! I read all your posts so far... great job! My Grandma is the best writer ever. :-)

  2. I really liked this one, probably because I identified with your use of "whatever". Generally, I use this word the same way you do. I have to admit, though, sometimes I do use it as a negative comment when I don't think Bob is 'getting' what I'm saying. :) Oh well, whatever...