Words Can Hurt You

March 17, 2009

image credit: alicepopkorn

I remember the chant in the school-yard: Sticks and stones can break my bones but your words cannot hurt me. And no matter how loud you chant, its magic didn’t seem to work; you still felt the sting of someone’s words or worse the shame of a group of kids jeering. The defenses we learned to build to protect ourselves or to hurt others, happened so innocently, through childhood games or careless communication in a glib remark. Yet our attitudes in life still reflect the effects of mere words spoken so recklessly in passing.

Words have power. In the Gospel of John we read, “In the beginning was the Word.” In Hindu mythology, Brahma the creator, first showed himself as a golden embryo of sound. He was a vowel, vibrating outward, the sound echoed back upon itself and became water and wind. In Sanskrit, this power is called Matrika Shakti, the inherent creative energy behind the letters that make up words. It is said that each letter of the Sanskrit alphabet has a corresponding sound vibration both in the subtle energy channels of our bodies and in the cosmos. When these sound vibrations resonate with a corresponding vibration within us they create thoughts, then these thoughts gradually manifest the grosser forms of feelings and then speech.

The Matrika Shakti resides in our energy body and rises of its own volition into consciousness, manifesting as our thoughts. The quality of our thoughts depend on what seeds we have been harboring over many lifetimes. For example if we have carried impressions of low self-esteem from this life-time or previous ones, the Matrika Shakti or letters which vibrate with the energy of low self-esteem are attracted to come together to create thoughts that correspond to this energy.

Thoughts then are the precursor of words, and they both carry the power to influence ourselves and others by the energy inherent in them. For instance, the word peace or joy opens us up to the vibration of those qualities. A person who wants to create peace, joy and clarity for themselves would be very careful of the inner dialogue that they allow. The same is true for how we want to affect the people whom we think or talk about. Although a person may not be present, we send our thoughts to them telepathically and even though they may not know that it is us who are thinking or speaking negatively about them, they still  feel badly about themselves. So the thoughts we send out can work for or against ourselves and others.

In my previous posts, Know The Beginning and Of One Mind, I explored the nature of the mind and ego and looked at some ways of working with them. The mind puts forth a powerful field of energy which determines how we experience the world. To create the life that we want, it is first important to be aware of our inner dialogue. If our inner critic is allowed to dominate, we attract the same kind of experiences we anticipate, which then affirms for us that our inner dialogue was right. When we learn how to soothe the inner critic and foster thoughts of what we want rather than what we don’t want, then we are mastering our world. This process of mastering our world all begins with awareness of thoughts and feelings and using skillful means to loosen their grip on us.

And as for all those impressions we carry from school-yard taunts, our inner critic, and our outer critics, they are grist for the mill of our evolution. Words can hurt us but it is the practice of awareness of the power of Matrika Shakti that is going to free us. When we become vigilant of what thoughts we engage in, what words we speak, how we talk to ourselves and others, then the words we choose to broadcast, will uplift us, our world and those whom we encounter.

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What Does Matrika Mean? | Yoga Matrika
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1 vinod 03.17.09 at 10:39 pm

nice post, words can hurt us but it depends on us how to take those. Someone ask Buddha are u god or saint? Buddha answered i am awake. Words can shake our mind, dilute our mind. lets be aware of that.

2 Liara Covert 03.18.09 at 8:47 am

Miruh, recall the phrase by Eleanor Roosevelt, “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” All desire is the mind seeking salvation or fulfillment in external things. Rather than choose o seek anything, turn inward and choose to be present. The extraneous dissolves and what you have left matters. This is between lines and words. It is formless, imperceptible and timeless.

3 Mark 03.18.09 at 10:20 am

Your thoughts are wise. Yes words and thoughts of others do impact us as do our thoughts and words. The key is to develop our awareness and understand how we can let go of words and thoughts which do not serve us and to understand the power of our thoughts and how they impact us and all of the universe.

4 Miruh 03.19.09 at 10:17 am

Hello Vinod,

Nice to have you drop by!

Thank you for sharing these wise words from the Buddha. Indeed it is awareness that will free us from the grip of Matrika Shakti.

May you live in pure awareness!

5 Miruh 03.19.09 at 10:28 am

Hello Liara,

Eleanor Roosevelt had some wise words of advice. It is in our innocent childhood years when the world is our support and we completely trust the world to teach us about ourselves where most of the damage is done.

As you say so eloquently, it is in being aware of our inner truth that we begin to heal these wounds of childhood and subsequent vulnerability.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

May you bask in the moment of conscious awareness!

6 Miruh 03.19.09 at 10:32 am

Hello Mark,

Yes, I agree, the key to not be hurt by words is “to understand the power of our thoughts and how they impact us and all of the universe.”

Thanks for sharing your wisdom here.

May you dive into the thought-free state and flow in beingness!

7 Nicole 03.19.09 at 8:30 pm

I completely agree with Liara when she says “turn inward and choose to be present”. Whenever I am having difficulty holding a positive attitude, I simply choose to be aware and present. It always helps me.

And I absolutely agree that we can evolve if we could all, as a society, put intent into every thought, every action and every word. Could you imagine how peaceful and loving our world could be?

But for now, we can only start with ourselves. thank you for a wonderful post, Miruh :o)

Nicole

8 Alexys Fairfield 03.20.09 at 12:33 am

Hi Miruh,

This post reminds me of this quote.

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

The words, “I love you,” have the power to heal a lifetime of hurtful words. :D

9 Miruh 03.20.09 at 8:08 pm

Hello Nicole,

Your comment reminds me of the Beatle`s song, Imagine. Maybe someday we will get to that level of peace and love in the world. As you say, in the meantime we each have to work with being aware and practicing presence.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Deep peace to you !

10 Miruh 03.20.09 at 8:16 pm

Hello Alexys,

That is a beautiful quote, thank you! Your destiny is created, beginning with just one thought; how powerful our thoughts!

I agree, the words: I love you, have the power to heal a lifetime of hurtful words.

Much love to you my friend!

11 Raghunath Gandhavadi 09.08.12 at 9:32 am

when I hear harsh words it goes directly into my heart through ears

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