The Power of Words

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We use them so often that we forget what their true power is. Words have the ability of designing our world, constructing our reality, and changing our destiny. Have you ever wondered why?

The Problem

Sometimes it seems that everything around us becomes monotonous, meaningless and out of the ordinary. The same daily routine at work with deadlines, the same apocalyptic TV shows, a few chitchats on the net, maybe a gossip or two at a girls’ / boys’ night out, the weekend that goes very fast and everything repeats itself. Therefore, we have every right to ask, „Is that all? That is what my existence is reduced to? ”

The answers to these questions were not delayed. Bookstores are filled with books that promise us saving solutions, starting with „self-help” and up to new-age spirituality works. In addition, if we are too busy or tired to read, there is the same material in the form of audiobooks or videos on YouTube.

However, whether we appeal to a psychotherapist, to those who promise healing through angelic therapy of forgiveness or listening to motivational audiobooks, we have the impression that what we are told the same thing only that it is transmitted in different forms. This message sounds like „All depends on you! You have inside you everything you need to take control of your life once again! You only have to want it”!

The interesting part is that the solution to an apparently meaningless, annoying existence has been what the Church has always preached. I do not want to make here the apology of Christianity, but the teachings of this religion propose a coherent explanation in this respect that certainly appeared far ahead of the modern concept of „personal development.”

The Explanation

Those who have the resistance to stay in the church until later on the Resurrection night will hear that the evangelical periscope (fragment), which is read in the first Liturgy of Easter, is a very special one. It is no longer an episode of Christ’s life from which we should learn something. The message is quite different and at that hour of the night, it often seems incomprehensible. But, in that theological symphony with which evangelist John delights us, we encounter deep truths that we are tented to ignore.

So, let’s look at the text again: „In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… The word was the true Light that illuminates all the man who comes into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. „(John 1: 1, verses 1-5, 9-10)

Why is this fragment read on the Easter night, when everything should be about the Resurrection? Why does not the Church insist more on the death and resurrection of Jesus even in the night when all is about that? In fact, that’s what the Church does! What the Apostle John tells us is the episode before the one in the Book of Genesis, that is, before the creation of world! In addition, he speaks to us about the result of the Resurrection of Christ – the restoration of the world. Both the creation and the restoration of the world were done through the Word of God, the Word which was God!

We are also told that in God-Word it was life. Thus, the seen world came to life through the Word of God. The phrase „And God said: «Let it be… »” shows how the Creator called everything to existence. Through words! The only beings who have received life differently were the human beings. God made them out of the dust through a direct work and blew upon them breath of life (Genesis, chapter 2, verse 7).

God’s special work on the creation of human beings shows us the special status they enjoy from the Divinity. As a recognition of this status, man was given all the dominion over the seen world (Genesis, chapter 1, verse 28), and one of the visible signs of this dominion was the fact that man had the right to create his own reality by words. Thus, after the Creator has given this honor to the man, Adam had the right to name as he desired all the beings (Genesis, chapter 2, verses 19-20), and thereby he imposed his dominion over them.

The Solution

So, God gave the man the power to change, through words, the reality human being lives in. How can he remake his reality? The famous philosopher of language, Ludwig Wittgenstein, said that „the edges of our language are the edges of our world.” Basically, the words we use most often say about us more than we realize. They show what our level of knowledge is, how we spend our time, what we do to earn our living, which is our circle of friends, what our desires are, and so on. Everything is mirrored in words! Therefore, if we want to change our lives, we have to change the words we use.

Imagine what our life would look like if we eliminate words such as „hate,” „enemy,” „lie,” „busy,” „tired,” „unlucky,” „self,” and we replace them with “love”, “friend”, “truth”, “prayer”, “help”, “blessed”, “together”, “you”, and, of course, “God”. We would probably see the reality in a different light and feel better, more fulfilled and more in control of our lives.

Let’s exemplify! Instead of saying I hate my friend / brother / acquaintance because she/he has so much money, and I’m so unlucky!, you might say I love my friend / brother / acquaintance, because I also have my blessings. Or instead of saying I feel so lonely! No one wants to get in touch with me!, we can say God speaks to me during prayer! When I am with Him, I feel great! Likewise, the sentences I feel so tired and stressed! All are lying to me and want something from me! could be restructured as God loves me as I am! And this truth gives me the power to overcome any challenge!

But beware! Although it seems simple, psychologists estimate that it takes 66 days to form a new habit. However, the good news is that if we make mistakes, returning to the old behaviors, and then willingly we will resume the new habit, things will evolve in the desired direction. Thus, the emphasis must be placed on the decision to change our lives and on the patience until the new custom becomes stable. So we must not despair if this process of word changing does not happen overnight.

The first step is to make a list of the words we use when we feel hopeless. For starters, it must not be all the words that disturb us but the most toxic of them! Then look for the opposite of these words in the dictionary! Then, by hand, write all of them down on a piece of paper divided into two columns, so that we can visualize and retain better. After that, we must propose that, at a certain time of our own choosing, we should change one step at a time every word that makes us sick with another one that helps us feel better! The most important thing is to keep our rhythm and not give up.

We have to point out that there are no hidden costs. The words are free, so their change will cost us nothing and will only bring us benefits! Sure, it’s difficult to do this at once, but I assure you that your efforts will be rewarded!

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Din pasiune și fascinație pentru natura umană, Sorin a creat blogul Religias pentru că și-a dorit să îi ajute pe cei care vor să afle mai multe despre teologia ortodoxă și, în special, pe cei care vor să și aplice în viața lor învățăturile de credință pe care Biserica le-a păstrat de-a lungul mileniilor. A studiat Teologie Biblică şi Sisitematică la Universitatea „Alexandru Ioan Cuza" din Iași, Intervenţie Psihosocială şi Psihoterapie la Universitatea „Alexandru Ioan Cuza" din Iași și Dialogul interreligios la Universitatea „Alexandru Ioan Cuza" din Iași, domenii care l-au ajutat să aprofundeze modul în care omul se manifestă în legătură cu Dumnezeu și felul în care intră în legătură cu semenii săi. Bine ai venit la un dialog între oameni obișnuiți, care trăiesc în mijlocul lumii acesteia dezlănțuite, oameni care se confruntă, în fiecare zi, cu provocările actuale.

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