It has often been suggested that words have some sort of inane power. A single word can be used to build someone up or to tear them to shreds. Love. Hate. Goodbye. Words caress, ignite and devour the human spirit. As a child, I spent my days with my nose buried in books, hiding from a world around me that felt unbearable. My books were oftentimes my only comfort.
When we look at the history of our species, words have had undeniable influence on cultures and civilizations around the world. Look at the power of great speakers to change the world; Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Adolph Hitler, Nelson Mandela, Pericles. Words stir emotion in us, and may even move us to action. But is there more to it than that?
“Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know more.
In the early 1990's a researcher and doctor of alternative medicine, Dr. Masaru Emoto, began a study of water from around the world. His work revealed that there is an unfathomable connection between water, language and emotions - a connection which is altered by our individual, as well as collective consciousness. Dr. Emoto's work provided photographic evidence that thoughts, as well as spoken words (and the emotions that drive them) have the ability to PHYSICALLY alter reality.
If you haven't heard of daily affirmations before, it simply means to consciously think or verbalize certain things each day, with a goal of affecting change in your life. The concept of daily affirmations is that through conscious thought patterns (and in this case, we're talking about more specifically verbal confirmation of those thoughts) and repetition, we can have an emotional and physical impact on our daily lives. Some people may refer to this topic as manifestation; though I like to think of it as a self-awareness of the laws of the Universe. If you haven't read my article on quantum physics, check it out here.
Every morning when I drive to work, I turn down the radio and I give myself 5-6 minutes to say aloud my own personal daily affirmations (listed below). I began performing this ritual almost a year ago. I will confess that initially I was very skeptical about the whole process. It is hard to believe that simply defining what I wish for in life and who I wish to be will actually manifest and become my reality. But that is the law of quantum physics.
At first I wrote down a list of affirmations that fit my life and situation at that time, then I would refer to that sheet each day and verbally repeat each line. After a while, I was so used to the mantra I had created that I no longer needed a visual cue to help me remember what it was I wanted to say.
Please understand that we all are on different paths in life, and some of MY affirmations may not be appropriate for you, depending on your religious beliefs, economic status, romantic status, etc. That is perfectly okay. You must honor your own path, and create affirmations that fit your needs and the life you wish to live. Visualize the life you want, the areas that need fulfillment, your own shortcomings or hardships and allow yourself to use the power you have always had within you to make positive changes.
I started attending Alcoholics Anonymous when I was still in diapers. I spent sixteen years going to those meetings, despite never having had a drink in my life. I was raised going to AA pig roast's every summer and post-meeting breakfast on Sunday mornings when it was my dad's weekend. Even our babysitter growing up was my dad's sponsor. My father was a lifetime recovering addict. It was a never ending struggle for him to maintain his sobriety - and there were many relapses.
Alcohol happened to be my dad's drug of choice, but that didn't stop him from other substance binges when the opportunity came along. Addiction is a disease. My dad was not a bad guy - he was sick, suffering from a dopamine deficiency in his brain. He lived on the edge of life, balancing between some sense of normality and utter fucking chaos. There was no in between for him. When he relapsed, there was an explosive hurricane of angst and crazy that went along with it and we were all caught in the crossfires. He hated himself for what he did but once he started down that path it took rock bottom or worse to get him back on the straight and narrow.
I always tell people that dying was the greatest gift that my parents ever gave me, as morbid as that may sound. Their deaths cursed me with a lifetime of sorrow and missed opportunities, but also blessed me with endless compassion, understanding and appreciation for each and every breath I take. Losing my parents robbed me of so many moments in life; my mother seeing me graduate, my father walking me down the aisle, my parents holding my children someday and being involved in their lives, seeing me find a career I am passionate about, that also pays the bills. The silence in moments like these is deafening and I feel their absences like a knife in my chest.
Grief is a creature of many faces. It stalks amidst the shadows of our lives - hunting us, preying on our moments of weakness and feasting on heartache and loneliness. Grief is a festering, silent, incurable disease. Grief is a tangible emptiness writhing in the pit of your stomach. Grief is an ocean of despair whose depths are so profound that they could never be measured. Grief makes slaves of us all, whipping us into a desolation that is inevitable submission. We are all carriers of grief. Grief does not discriminate based on class or circumstance. In that dark and empty place where loss lives, it finds us - and in that place, we are all equals..
When I was sixteen years old, my mother died of brain cancer. I cradled her in my arms as she took her last ragged breaths. Two weeks earlier, she had entered a coma. Since then, her body had started to decompose. I can still remember the way she smelled – like a corpse, her breath rattling with the fluids that had begun to fill her lungs. In those last moments of her life, I was irrevocably changed on a core level. My beliefs, my hopes, my dreams, my fears - every detail that had defined me for sixteen years shattered in the stretch of a single heartbeat.
I spent the next few months drowning.
Kaylyn Hansen has worked in the alternative medicine field for over four years as a patient liaison, educator, and physician's assistant.