What can words do?

I feel so strongly about words I almost think of them as hand grenades to lob at thoughts, to explode old patterns that hold us back, destroy us. I do this to shatter the idea of continuity and permanence that we sometimes cling on to.

Maybe our brains are like gardens littered with unmovable statues of thoughts. If I manage to see the light I mean the light that illuminates my statues.

Words helped me to destroy preconceived ideas that stood like statues in my brain. I want to explore fixed mental language patterns through words. If I’m using them as a shield against a life lived, I want to know.

Do people use words to keep their world safe? Sometimes we need to break out of old thinking habits. For me, it’s worth all this unfolding. I see words like plants that come and go and live and die.

First we’re alive and then comes words. Life can only go on now, so the symbolic meaning we have through language must lag behind life – from life to words.

Language can carry us into a world where abstract concepts like ‘now’ and ‘here’ can feel like our lived experience of the here and now. Nothing replaces living the moment, but words are full of wonders and benefits, healing and stretching us.

‘Heal’ means ‘whole’. It’s not words that make us whole, they can’t do that; it’s what we let words do. Words are like carrier pigeons, they carry something, they are like an electric current carrying our thought content from inside to outside.

Like a psychological ‘metabolism’, words burn everything that’s not needed by the ‘soul body’. Words throw out, detoxify our psyche, quicken our healing. They are like our blood, carrying things round the body and then carrying the waste out.

Oxygen is the life force for our bodies; our psyche maybe needs a form of oxygen too; when it’s gone we suffer. Words that heal help shed what we no longer need and make a space for a bit of that oxygen. Suffering can be alleviated through the act of writing. In this sense, I’m talking about writing as a release rather than ‘art’.

Learning what we’re caught up in can be a great teacher. Words can mirror back what needs to go. Like a sifting mechanism, they help us throw out clutter so change can take place. To become aware by reading what’s on the paper. What’s coming out? What’s emerging? Then we get to the point where we say ‘if I carry on like this I carry the same old crap’.

I’ve been thinking about words and their power for good. Carol Ross in Cumbria has begun unleashing this power with a group of people in hospital. Where will it go? You can see an extract of her book Words for Wellbeing here: http://trioross.wordpress.com/new-words-for-wellbeing-book-extract/