I think everyone has a trigger word. A word that sets them off into a downward spiral of negativity. It's normally just a simple, standard remark and yet it has the power to completely immobilise you.
Today I was set off by the word 'weight.' Which is surprising because I haven't worried about my weight or body all that much lately. In fact, it hasn't been a proper 'concern' since University. I guess I assumed I naturally grew out of that self-conscious, self-absorbed "does my bum look big in this" attitude.
Yet today I welcomed back an old 'friend'. And all because of a single word: weight.
But we- yes you, me and your Great Aunty Linda- give words their power. They have no life or power beyond being simply letters on a page (or sounds in the air.)
Words become more or less powerful because of:
A- The speaker (or writer)
B- The listener (or reader)
Yet I believe the latter truly controls the impact of words. Of course a great speaker (e.g. Martin Luther King) can empower and provoke the masses, but at the end of the day if the listener doesn't let the effect of the words affect them- then the words have no power at all.
To demonstrate this more clearly let's take the example of someone who was bullied at school for being 'spotty.' In the future the word 'spotty' might trigger a whole wealth of negative thoughts and emotions, regardless of its context. Yet if they attempt to disable the word- by separating it from negative thoughts and feelings- then the word returns to being simply just a word. And not a loaded, nasty, makes my stomach-turn-to-lead designation.
Try and do this with your own trigger words. Remove the emotions and thought patterns you have attached to it so that it can return to its original form.
Okay here goes...
...the dictionary definition of 'weight':
a body's relative mass or the quantity of matter contained by it, giving rise to a downward force; the heaviness of a person or thing.
And not "you aren't a size 6", "those jeans look too tight", "don't even bother with the bikini!"
So what's really in a word? Well clearly much more than consonants and vowels, but the power is in your hands...
"In a sense, words are encyclopedias of ignorance because they freeze perceptions at one moment in history and then insist we continue to use these frozen perceptions when we should be doing better."
- Edward de Bono