I Want My Words to Matter

Joan Didion’s words inspire physicality in me. Her words cause me to move—to furrow my brow, to shake my head, to pause dramatically and reread. The other day I was reading one of Joan’s (can I call her Joan? I’m going to call her Joan) books South and West, and found myself feeling a strong desire to travel. Within minutes I felt such strong physicality that it started making me think about the weight of words and the tangibility they have on one’s person. If Joan’s words can cause physicality in me, what is my effect on other people? Do my words matter?

…we’re not conscious of the words we speak, read, and expose ourselves to, allowing us to become a sponge…

Werner Heisenberg is a physicist who once stated, “Atoms or elementary particles themselves are not real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities, rather than one of things or facts.” Meaning that physical matter doesn’t really exist, everything is more or less energy flowing in different states of vibration—if this is true, what does that mean about the energy we put out into the world, more specifically the energy of the words we say to others and ourselves?

Words are extremely powerful tools, they can be used to uplift and improve, or the can carelessly be thrown to cause harm. Oftentimes we are so overwhelmed by constant overstimulation from music, movies, social media, etc., that we’re not conscious of the words we speak, read, and expose ourselves to, allowing us to become a sponge absorbing everything.

Masaru Emoto, a Japanese scientist, performed one of the most fascinating experiments of the effect that words have on energy. His experiment took two similar unpolluted, filtered water, and poured them into two glasses, one covered with negative phrases like, “I hate you” or “fear,” the other with phrases like “I love you” or “peace.” After 24 hours, the water frozen in the negative glass container contained gray, misshapen clumps, in contrast, the other container covered in positive affirmations produced gleaming, hexagonal crystals. His study found that words have weight, and the use of them, produces frequencies that change and impact us for better or worse.

The reason Emoto conducted his experiment on water, is because sound vibration travels through water four times faster than it does through air. If you think about it, our bodies are over 70% water, imagine how quickly words travel through us, manifesting themselves as depression, anxiety, anger, fear, etc.

In a way, negative words and thoughts are buying into propaganda.

If we constantly expose ourselves to words and dialogue that causes harm to yourself or others, then consistency will overrule truth every time. If I constantly call myself stupid, untalented, ugly, or anything else, then the internal consistency of those words will shape a false self-image. Instead, I will believe the lie, and every time someone states otherwise, I will either refuse to believe it or abhor the compliment. In a way, negative words and thoughts are buying into propaganda.

Just like Joan Didion’s words can inspire physicality in me, stirring my wanderlust and inspiring me to observe and see the world in a different light, my words and the words of others can shape my worldview. She proves throughout her works time and time again, that the mundane is essential, and provides insight for me to view it as worth living. I only hope one day for my own words to inspire physicality and depth of thought, but in order for me to get there, I need to be conscious of the words I use.

Do you feel the same way?