The power of words
Last night I finished reading Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s a wonderful book about travel and self exploration, and it has inspired me to get moving on some of the neglected dreams I’ve been sitting on for far too long.
A paragraph in the second last chapter really struck a chord with me, given the thoughts burdening my head lately and a continued string of sleepless nights. The context of the words below is that the writer of the book traveled to a small island to be alone with her thoughts and work through the unhappy things that were going on in her life at the time.
The yogic sages say that all the pain of a human life is caused by words, as is all the joy. We create words to define our experience and those words bring attendant emotions that jerk us around like dogs on a leash. We get seduced by our own mantras (I’m a failure…I’m lonely…I’m a failure…I’m lonely…) and we become monuments to them. To stop talking for a while, then, is to attempt to strip away the power of words, to stop choking ourselves with words, to liberate ourselves from our suffocating mantras.