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Metaphors: Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones, But Names Can Hurt You, Too!

This is a story about metaphors. The things you say and think attract either positive or negative energy into your lives. Let me give you a few examples:

When I was growing up I listened when my grandmother said, “Always look down when you are walking, so you will find money.” Sometimes I wondered why I didn’t have very many friends.  I started making more when I finally turned chin up and smiled.

My mother used to say, “You are a survivor!” So I spent most of my life attracting bad things to myself to prove that I could survive anything. Now I say, “I’m a thriver.” This attracts a different and more wonderful type of energy.

One winter, during an arduous divorce process several years ago I used to say, “I am so pissed off.” I said it with lots of emotion. I really got into it. I called so much negative energy to my bladder area that it wasn’t until I started urinating blood, having already taken a bout of antibiotics, several different homeopathics, and supplements for urinary tract infections that I realized I was causing the problem by what I was saying.  I took the phrase out of my vocabulary and my urine turned clear in two days with no other treatments or changes in my life!

I had a partner who died of colon cancer. His favorite phrase was, “These people are a pain in the ass.”

I had a client in Kooskia, Idaho who had a triple bypass. He often frequented a particular restaurant in Kooskia that served lots of food, cheap prices, but the food was rather high in calories.  Jim’s favorite phrase on Saturday mornings was, “Come on. Let’s go eat our triple bypass breakfast.”  He doesn’t say that anymore.

I used to say, “Denice, your entire family that has passed thus far has died of cancer. You are going to die of cancer, so just don’t worry about it.”  Actually, I used to say that every day. . . until I got pre-cervical cancer!  It took a few months of natural medicine to get rid of that. The good thing about it was that I don’t say that anymore, but also, I am not afraid of cancer anymore.  I know I have healed myself once, and I can do it again if necessary. The experience was a blessing for me to teach me balance in my life.

I had a dear receptionist who wore two hearing aids. She had a 5-year-old son. Her favorite phrase was, “I don’t want to hear it.” Now, she was trying to improve her hearing, so changed the phrase to, “I hear you loud and clear.”

Several years ago I had a difficult time with my sacrum subluxating. I had seen three chiropractors for it and a host of other alternative healers. Eventually, I caught myself saying, “I have been busting my butt around here.” Actually I didn’t catch myself saying it until I said it three times that day. I immediately recanted the phrase and my sacrum popped in on its own that night while I was lying in bed.

One of my favorite phrases used to be, “I don’t have the time.” And I never did!  Now I say, “I have time for everything that is important to me.” I seem to have lots more time now, and try to remind myself of what is important when I start feeling overwhelmed.

“I’ll try” is another phrase. So here is the exercise. Lay a pen down on the counter. Now “try” to pick it up.  If you picked up the pen, then you didn’t try to do it, you DID it! So, either you do or don’t perform the task. Trying doesn’t get you anywhere.

So how do you determine what phrases you say that are hurting you? Make a list of the phrases you remembered as you were growing up, ask a friend what phrases you repeat often, or hire a kid to follow you around and write down the phrases you repeat. Give him/her a dime per phrase.

Now what?

Try a 40-day fast.  For forty days, fast from saying those phrases. Tell others what you are doing so they can catch you at it.

Replace all negative thoughts you say or think with something you want to attract into your life.  Like, “I AM love”  “I AM peace and joy” “I AM prosperity” or “I am worthy.” Saying it out loud will seat it into your nervous system faster.

What you sow, so shall you reap. This goes for what you say and think as well. What you focus on today you will reap in the future. What is it that you want to reap?

Think wonderful thoughts!

FOR EVERY NEGATIVE THOUGHT, REPLACE IT WITH ONE POSITIVE PHRASE FOR 40 DAYS WITH SOME CHARACTERISTIC YOU WANT TO BE.  For example: When you catch yourself saying something negative replace it with “I am prosperity”.

Some people say that what comes out of your mouth is your issue. Think about that.


Need some examples? How many do you say? 

METAPHOR (and Associated Disease Process) with Some Suggested Substitutions

  • A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder (heart/lung)
  • Accidents happen. (Accident prone) TO: There are no accidents, only lessons.
  • Age before beauty. TO: You go first. Or. . . After you!
  • Beauty is only skin deep. (Skin?) TO: There is beauty in all things
  • Cold hands, warm heart. (Anything with heart metaphors draws attention to your heart and lung area)
  • Damned if I do and damned if I don’t. TO: The Universe is conspiring for my good!
  • Doesn’t it just break your heart (heart attack) TO: That is sad.
  • Don’t add insult to injury.
  • Don’t believe everything you hear.
  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew. (TMJ, jaw problems, teeth problems?) TO: I choose to use my gifts.
  • Driving me crazy. TO: Wow. Imagine that!
  • Give me a break (osteoporosis/broken bones) TO: Could you help me?
  • Going out of my mind with worry. TO: It’s in God’s hands. All is well.
  • Here we go again. TO: Another chance to perfect this! Yes!
  • Home is where the heart is. TO: I’m content wherever I am.
  • I can’t think straight. TO: Time to take a breather and  regroup.
  • I can’t. TO: Thanks for thinking of me but no.
  • I can’t stand it (joint problems?) TO: This is less than perfect.
  • I can’t think straight. (dementia, Alzheimer’s) TO: I’m totally focused. I see the big picture clearly.
  • I don’t listen well. TO: I hear as well as I see.
  • I don’t see it (vision disturbances) TO: Could you explain that a different way?
  • I don’t want to hear it. (hearing loss/earaches/wax) TO: I hear you loud and clear.
  • I eat like a pig (or bird.) TO: My body is nourished and craves all good, healthy, raw, and whole foods.
  • I hate that TO: I prefer . . .
  • I have no time for that. TO: I have time for what is important.
  • I need that like I need a hole in the head. TO: No thank you.
  • I’ll believe it when I see it. TO: People change.
  • I’m a survivor. TO: I’m a thriver!
  • I’m going to finish this if it kills me. TO: One thing’s for sure. This will be done soon.
  • I’m not good at: TO: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
  • I’m overwhelmed TO: I’m so in demand or  I’m so maximized.
  • I’m so depressed TO: I’m so calm before action.
  • I’m so fat.
  • I’m so nervous TO: I’m so energized.
  • I’ve never been good at . . .TO: I prefer to accentuate my positives and let the professionals shine where I can’t–it’s their gift anyway.
  • I’d rather die TO: I’d much rather do…
  • I’m a survivor. (low self-esteem) TO: I’m a thriver!
  • I’m going to finish this if it kills me. TO: I see the project as done.
  • I’m just feeling so old. (fast aging) TO: Don’t let age be your cage.
  • I’m not good at… TO: I’m getting better at this every time I do it.
  • I’m so overwhelmed. (anxiety, stress, short term memory loss) TO: I’m in such demand!
  • I’m so depressed. TO: I focus on what is going well.
  • I’m so sick and tired (well, OK.) TO: Calgon, take me away!
  • It galls me (gallbladder problems) TO: Hmm. Bummer.
  • It never rains but it pours. TO: There’s got to be a pony in here somewhere.
  • It takes your breath away (emphysema/lung disease) TO: WOW! Thank You, God!
  • It will never work.
  • It’s an albatross around my neck.
  • It’s clear as mud. TO: Could you express/explain that in a different manner for me?
  • It’s an albatross around my neck (neck/swallowing) TO: I choose to let that go.
  • It’s eating me alive. (cancer?) TO: Oh piffle.
  • It’s your funeral (what an omen!) TO: There are better ways.
  • I’ve never been good at… TO: In the past it has been challenging.
  • Life is not bed of roses.
  • Life is short. (As you wish!) TO: Life is full and wonderful.
  • Life isn’t easy.
  • Misery loves company TO: I bless that thought and set it free.
  • Mother/father knows best.
  • Never give a sucker an even break.
  • Never let you left hand know what your right hand is doing.
  • Nice guys finish last.
  • No good deed goes unpunished.
  • No pain, no gain. (Stop beating yourself up!) TO: You reap what you sow.
  • Nothing is certain but death and taxes.
  • Oh my aching back. (back/kidneys) TO: What great exercise.
  • Oh, my aching heart. (heart pain; heart attacks)
  • Old habits die hard. TO: I bless this habit and set it free to make room for bigger and better things.
  • Once a crook, always a crook. TO: People change.
  • One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel.
  • Out of sight, out of mind. (forgetfulness) TO: I attend to the important tasks and prioritize with grace and with ease.
  • Poor me. Life sucks. (where the concentration goes, the energy flows!) TO: Life is good and I am grateful!
  • That pisses me off (bladder infections) TO:: Well, this is less than perfect
  • That stinks. TO: Well, that’s an interesting lesson.
  • That turns my stomach. (stomach, ulcers) TO: That doesn’t really appeal to me.
  • That’s terrible TO: That’s different.
  • That’s the straw that broke the camel’s back.
  • That’s the way it’s always been.
  • That’s irritating (skin or gallbladder?) TO: That’s very stimulating.
  • That’s the straw that broke the camel’s back. (back pain?) TO:          That’s it. I am worth more than this!
  • That’s to die for (as you wish!) TO: That is SO good!
  • The truth hurts.
  • They are a pain in the butt.
  • They are a pain in the neck. (neck/headaches/brain) TO: They pose interesting lessons.
  • They are all out to get me.
  • Time flies (no time for anything you want to do) TO: I have time for everything that’s important.
  • To die for. TO: That’s the best I’ve ever tasted hands down.
  • Trouble comes in threes. (self-fulfilling prophesy?) TO: I know some good will come of this.
  • Warts and all. (warts and growths) TO: Putting my best foot forward
  • What a pain in the butt (sciatica/hemorrhoids/colon cancer) TO: What am I learning from them?
  • What can’t be cured must be endured (fibromyalgia and chronic degenerative diseases) TO: Every day and in every way I’m feeling better and better!
  • You get what you pay for. TO: I remember when I found this really good bargain. . .
  • You have to take the bitter with the sweet. (Gallbladder?) TO: It’s all good.
  • You’re tearing me apart (aneurysms) TO: Let me see the lesson in this!

Helpful Links and References for the Metaphors page: