Words Have Power: Breaking Glass and the Law of Attraction
Words have power, I realized on Day 3.
At 75 mph on the interstate, I noticed the kitchen chairs piled high on the pickup truck in front of me had begun to rock, and I slowed waaaaaaay back. Why? Because of breaking glass, that’s why. Not that it had happened yet, but I knew it was only a matter of time unless I changed something.
Corporate America and the Military-Industrial Complex share some amusing buzz words. I’ve laughed at them over the years and even offered to make BUZZWORD BINGO cards for staff meetings so that when we hear words or phrases like these, we’ll mix a little fun in with the occasional tedium:
think outside the box
tip of the spear
peanut butter spread
The current buzz words I hear multiple times a day–every single work day–are
peeling back the onion
Every time some high-ranking person in a staff meeting or briefing mentions breaking glass, I have to stifle a fit of giggles. To them, they define breaking glass as “declaring an emergency” or “using emergency procedures” or “really defying the structures already in place to make something new and different happen.” Yep, that matches the meaning when it was the Urban Dictionary May 29, 2005 Word of the Day. But outside the conference room, it tends to mean something much less eloquent–“emergency sex” or “an emergency sex partner.”
THAT was Day 1.
Words have power, I thought, imagining breaking the glass over a fire alarm and pulling the lever down to declare that, well, that I was gonna MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN! I guess I thought a little too much about the physical “breaking glass” part and not enough about the “make something happen” part.
On the evening of Day 1, I pulled a pan out of a cabinet so I could cook dinner. All the other pans on the shelf shifted forward, but I caught them in time, reorganized them, and they were fine. I closed the cabinet, and as I turned around, everything shifted again. The pans lurched forward. Not enough to cause the cabinet door to open but just enough to shift the balance on the shelf and cause a large casserole dish on the shelf below to slide forward. The cabinet door burst open and huge glass dish slid out gracefully onto the tile floor. At the last second, the far end of the dish landed prettily on the floor, striking the tile just right, and exploding all over the kitchen.
I was standing on the other side of the cabinet door at the time or I would have had glass frags over that entire side of my body.
The entire kitchen floor was covered in glass–everything from 6-10 inch long blades to tiny diamond flecks on the floor, rugs, and countertops. Even after I vacuumed, mopped, and washed all the dishes in the cabinets, I spent the next several days finding shards that had flown into the breakfast area, den, home office, bathroom, and laundry room. The scatter pattern of the glass had a diameter of 50 feet!
“Breaking glass,” I muttered to myself, thinking about what I’d said earlier in the day about my intentions.
“Words have power,” I reminded myself. “Be careful what you think. Be careful what you say.”
On the morning of Day 2, I walked past my bedroom window while taking a few minutes to enjoy the outdoors and noticed a strange shadow near the top. A hole About three inches wide. Through one of the double panes. Glass inside. Shattered. Just like on my kitchen floor the night before.
“Breaking glass,” I murmured to myself again. “Words have power. Yes, they do!”
Late that evening, I was outside again and noticed that one of the glass candleholders that I’d taken down just prior to Hurricane Isaac had been knocked off its storage spot, presumably by a squirrel or lizard, and had shattered all over the stone patio.
I just shook my head. “Words have power. No more declaring that I’m going to break glass!”
So on Day 3, when through my windshield I saw the wobbly chairs atop the moving pickup, I decided, “No more breaking glass!”
That’s when I backed off.
But as a reminder to me, I will be more careful to watch what I think and to watch what I say–because sometimes we manifest the things we really don’t want.