Words Have More Power Than You Think:
By: Christine McFarlane
Words have power, and it’s the power behind them that I believe makes you want to fight to succeed, or to just give in. Luckily for me, words have played an integral part in my healing journey. Whether that was when I was writing them down in my stories and poems, or listening to them, by my friends and the people in my life I have considered to be mentors.
Words and what stands behind them are an integral part of our healing journeys. I say this because it was for many years that I believed the words of the people in my past who told me “you will go nowhere,” “you will never succeed,” over the people who repeatedly tried to tell me “you just have to believe” “we know that you’re a fighter,” and “you can do anything you set your mind to doing.” Many people who told me this varied from being my elementary school teachers, social workers from when I was in care, to doctors in the mental health system, who told me they could see I was destined for bigger and better things than what I was allowing myself to believe.
Interestingly enough, I had recently been thinking about the power of words and what words can do for you when I heard a professor at the University of Toronto, Dr. Jill Carter say “ we carry responsibility in our words,” and “when we speak we need to ask ourselves am I honoring my ancestors in the way that I am speaking?”
Words hold more power than I think a lot of us want to believe. I could have continued to carry the negative words from the people of my past, and let it deter me from my dreams of returning to post secondary education and getting my degree, or I could choose to let those words go and hang onto the words of the people in my present, who told me “you can do anything.”
In the end, I chose to believe the words of the people who are in my life now. Within words, from the people in my life now, I have learned to live, love, laugh and learn, and within words I learn to continue healing.