Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday Thirteen #175

Last night I spoke aloud during a dream. "I can't break the spell! I don't know the words!" I cried. My body was paralyzed and it took my husband a while to break through my dream state and wake me to the point where I was no longer shouting and back in control of my thoughts. The dream left me tired and shaken.

Power words. In business, they're buzzwords like profit. In religion, they're words like JesusAmen, and om. They're magic words like abracadabra and hocus pocus. They're names, like Tawanda in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. Some words make you feel good, some make you feel bad. Words that call you names would be example of power words with negative impact.

Power words are used everywhere. You see them in advertising, in politics, and in daily life. Often we don't know we're using a power word but some people (those folks who excel at the Dale Carnegie way of life) use them exclusively and excessively, sometimes to good effect.

It's not quite 7 a.m. as I write this, still half awake from a fitful night, but I want to list 13 words that mean something to me. I think everyone's list would be different and to be sure I am struggling with this. But let's see what I can come up with. These are in no particular order, except the first one.

1. Love. What a great word. To be loved is to be cherished, honored, and needed. It's opposite is like being condemned. Many people do not use this word enough. I wish we would all make a point of saying it to someone every day. It would change the world.

2. Safe. Next to being loved, feeling safe is very important to me. Without safety I am not free to move about, to explore, to create, to be. This is a basic need, and something we should all strive for. When one no longer feels safe in life, then something must change.

3. Encourage. I encourage you to ... can anyone be more helpful and more empowering, than to offer encouragement? To assure you that they have faith in you, believe in you, and know you can move forward?

4. My name. Hearing my name is powerful. Do you know that if you refuse to use someone's name, or call them something other than what they wish, you are attempting to control or disenfranchise or diminish that person? I learned this from my mother, who once asked me if a particular person knew her name. "He never calls me anything," she said, frustrated by what she perceived as a lack of acknowledgement.

5. Friend. My friends mean so much to me; if you're in my circle, you are someone I cherish. To be called a friend is a high honor. I strive to be a good friend.

6. Health. To have good health is to be blessed. To be free of pain, to enjoy movement, to have rosy cheeks and a hearty laugh. What an image this word brings!

7. Creative. To create is to be godlike. To paint, to write, to carve - whatever you do to give a new vision to something is to bring forth a greatness from inside yourself that cannot be staved off. The urge to create is strong and glorious and something to be nurtured.

8. Faith. To have faith is to have a deep-seated inner knowledge, unshakable and abiding. You can have faith as in religious faith, and you can have faith in yourself, in other people, in the ability of a tree to grow toward heaven. I have faith in you is another way to tell someone how much you believe in their abilities.

9. Dream. To dream is to envision, to see beyond, to look into the future. I dream of a better tomorrow where we're all kind to one another.

10. Freedom. This word has great power over the American people, and I am not immune to its power. To have freedom of speech, freedom of worship, all of which really means the freedom to be me, is to have the ability to dream unencumbered. We are all weighed down by many responsibilities and thoughts which hinder our freedom in one way or another. To be truly free in the spirit and soul is a great ideal.

11. Justice. This is, unfortunately, a concept that has lost favor in the last 30 years, for we now seemingly seek vengeance instead of justice. To be just is to be fair, to be impartial, to be unbiased. Those who are just are honorable, principled, moral, and upright. What would the world be like, I wonder, if we all sought justice?

12. Write. How could this not be in my list, this thing that I do and love to do and live to do and could not be without? To be able to write is to be creative, to express, to endure. The things we write last long after the thought or the verbal expression. To write is to add to our existence, to procreate, to bring forth. It is to breath without lungs, to see without eyes, to hear without ears. The ability to write and to communicate is one of the greatest gifts.

13. Magic. To experience something as magical is to see the wonder in it. It is be enchanted by the things going on around you. Snow on Christmas is magic; a summer flower is magic, a deer in the field is a magical moment.  To be magical is to be extraordinary. I wish all of us could experience a little magic in our days.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here.  I've been playing for a while and this is my 175th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. Really interesting list. Happy Thursday!

  2. I LOVE the way love practically says evolve and how live says evil backwards. Words to have power and I think its no mistake that we SPELL with them!

  3. I think snowstorms are magical... wish we had received a bit more snow accumulation yesterday!


  4. Names are so incredibly powerful, especially those we give ourselves. I think there is nothing more motivating and nothing more demoralizing than the proper or improper use of someone's chosen name.

    I hope you feel better from the dream!

    Happy TT,

    The Clockwork Courtesan

  5. I've never thought of words in that way. A set of words or a sentance, yes, but not individual words. Great idea for a TT!

  6. Wow. Out of those thirteen words, I can relate nine of them to my hubby, and the rest to my chosen work.

    There is definitely power in these words.

  7. These are all the words my writing instructors insisted NOT be used, because it was more powerful to show them in action.

  8. Alice -
    Writing instructors don't know everything. :-) Show don't tell has its place, but not always.

    Anyway, I wasn't talking about using these words in writing, but using them as personal power words. Which is a different sort of thing.

  9. Words are all-powerful. A most excellent post!

    I had some weird and unsettling dreams myself last night, which has left me tired and a bit headachey.

  10. Interesting list, happy T13!

  11. Wow, just like you and Heather, I also had a crazy dream last night! I dreamed about a typewriter and I started writing about it today. And I also had a vision of my mother, when I got up to go to the bathroom. It was very powerful. I'll probably write about that too.

    But those words... They were great. I really enjoyed this post because it made me think about what all those words mean to me.

  12. Wow, there seem to be a lot of us having unsettling dreams these days---me, too! I just wish I could find meaning in mine.

    I like your list, Anita. Like Debi, it made me think about the power of these words in my life.


I enjoy your comments and always appreciate the opportunity to visit the blogs of my readers. I hope you have a great day!