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Posted 4 months ago
As nurses, we say and hear a lot in the course of a month, a day, a shift - yes, even an hour. So how mindful are we of the words coming out of our mouths? Are we aware just how powerful communication in nursing is? Do we speak to ourselves, about ourselves, and for ourselves in ways that are loving and kind? When we talk, do we break ourselves down or lift our health up?
So yesterday it was about mid-day. I was sitting at my desk; my eyes feeling tired. I decided to walk away from the computer screen and get a drink of water. As I was standing at the water cooler filling up my jug, I overheard a statement that shocked me. “I’d estimate I have about 15 years left on this earth and that’s about it…” I hope my face didn’t show my shock as I finished up what I was doing and walked away.
And yes, I had to glance up and see who was doing the talking…this woman did NOT look old. But those were the words that came out of her mouth. And she sounded serious - very, very serious. “I have about fifteen years left and that is about it…”
So why did this story strike me? What is so significant about this? And how does this relate to us as nurses?
Well, as nurses we speak to people all of the time while on the job. We answer questions from patients and families. We delegate orders to staff or to fellow nurses. We converse with our colleagues, peers, and teammates. We answer to management and administration. But even further, we speak about ourselves. We make statements about who we are, how we see ourselves, and what kind of nurse we think we are.
I have to tell you: our words are powerful things. Our words create our experiences. Our words shape our reality. You speak it and it is truth. Have you heard the saying “Behind every joke there is an underlying truth…” What comes out of our mouths is our truth. That's how communication works not just in nursing but in life.
Our truth then becomes our experience. Our thoughts can empower or can break us down. Our thoughts become our reality. Think we can do it - we can! Think we cannot - guess what? We are less likely to. So our thoughts are one thing. Yet there is even a stronger piece to all of this - our words.
Wishing things, wanting things, thinking about things… they are all possible efforts to make changes come true. However, actually speaking the words and saying them aloud, now that is powerful stuff.
I recently went through a six week course called “How to Manifest Anything” with Kathryn Yarborough, a spiritual heart-centered coach. In it we went through the seven steps of manifestation. I recall that a lot of the exercises Kathryn had us do were to actually say the words out loud.
We had to state our affirmations, actually speak them aloud. Not just in our minds, but in our voices. Other techniques included having conversations between parts of our “selves” out loud…actually letting each part have a voice to break down blocks.
There is power in our words. So how are you choosing yours? Do you call health and well-being to your life? Or do you say things like “I’m too fat… I’m stupid… I’m ugly… I can’t do it…?” When it comes to making, setting, and reaching health goals you have to believe you can do so. And you have to state those words aloud: “I can do this… I am beautiful… I am healthy… I reach my goals.”
Instead of wishing life away with stating how much time you have left on this planet, how about enjoying every moment and living as if you are a child? I know that is what I strive to do in each day I am blessed with on this earth!