What are the most powerful words in the English language?
I made the mistake of asking this question to my 15-year-old. He’s in grade 10, so I should have expected some foul language. Yup, that’s where he went. I won’t repeat what he said.
I asked my wife and daughter, all I got was “I don’t know.”
Hmm, questions can change your mind so saying I don’t know could be powerful.
My first thought is that the most powerful word is NO. But later, I thought that maybe the list should include:
- I love you
- You can do it
- I am here for you
What are your most powerful words?
Words have power. They can start new worlds, new endeavors, and new friendships. Words immortalize and pay tribute to the living and the dead. Words tell stories and stories can change history.
Maybe the most powerful words are whatever you need to hear, today.
A four letter risk
Words can be powerful, but they are also a risk.
There is power, and risk, in telling your story. When you speak your story, you risk exposure, misunderstanding and even ridicule. Our words can cause a fall before we have even taken one tiny step. Trust me, I’ve done it.
Unspoken words have power. I know that when I keep my story to myself, when I choose not to share my emotions or my experience, the darkness inside grows. Only when we speak, when we open the door, will the light fill us again.
When you share your story of recovery, you are taking a risk. You can never know how the other person may need, or how they will react. But the very act of risk will make you stronger. And that is exactly what recovery depends on.
Before I share my story, I feel anxiety. You may feel the same way. I have found that it helps to remind ourselves that when we speak, we bring something into reality. Words are like cement. At first they flow but over time they harden and become reality.
One might ask, “What are the most powerful words in the universe?” My answer? The ones you use to talk to yourself! Dana Hee, Olympic gold medalist.
What words do you need today?
If you need to hear something today, say it right now. Take a quiet moment, breathe and speak the words out loud. There is nothing strange about talking to yourself. If the guy in the car next to you can do it, then you should take permission and go for it.
The most powerful words you can say may be the words you say to yourself. The second most powerful words are sharing your story. Remember that when you share, you erode stigma. Words are risky, but there is no growth without risk.
Keep it Real
Photo by Andrey