Great Health Guide


- Dr Matthew Anderson

Words have immense power to hurt & harm, but also to help & heal.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I heard this line from the time I was a child and even then, I knew it was a lie. By the age of five, I knew that words could cut me far deeper than sticks and stones. I discovered very quickly that words could make me happy, frightened, sad or incredibly excited. They could give me a reason to live, and on more than one occasion, a desire to end it all. I have always known that words have immense power. I have often wondered why so many intelligen­t people live their lives as if this was not a daily observable fact.

Words have immense power.

But the truth is, many of us live and speak as if our words are throw-away noises that pour from our mouths hundreds of times a day with little meaning. They affect our listeners, including ourselves. Somehow, we don’t realize how our words lighten or darken a room or a face: How our simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ can bless or burden our loved ones, our co-workers and even the passing stranger. This is the power of words.

How many of us have waited, hearts aching for years to hear three small words, ‘I love you’ from a withholdin­g parent? Then suddenly being soul touched when they reached our begging ears.

Yes—words matter. Yes—words have power, and yes—words can transform lives. Anyone who lives as if this is not so, is one who has either become soul-deaf or has been tragically convinced that his or her voice and thus their very existence does not count.

Therefore, I agree with James Hillman, Jungian analyst and author of the book BLUE FIRE when he coined the phrase, ‘angelology of words’ and made the following statement:

‘A new angelology of words is needed... angel means “emissary”, “message bearer”... we need to recall the angel aspect of the word, recognizin­g words as independen­t carriers of soul between people...words, like angels, are powers which have invisible power over us.’

‘We [must] realize what a miracle it is to find the right words, words that carry soul accurately, where thought, image and feeling interweave. Then we realize that soul can be made … simply through speech.’

What then, my friends, would occur if you held each of your verbal expression­s as a potential sacred agent of soulmaking? What and how would you speak if you believed that your words mattered? Would you speak more of love or forgivenes­s, joy and meaning? Would you resist the urge to utter words of hate and hurt, gossip and cynicism?

Dr Matthew Anderson has a Doctor of Ministry specialisi­ng in counsellin­g. He has extensive training and experience in Gestalt and Jungian Psychology and has helped many people successful­ly navigate relationsh­ip issues. Dr Anderson has a best-selling book, ‘The Resurrecti­on of Romance’ and he may be contacted via his website.

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