January 26


Curse Words are Powerful: Watch Your Language

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Curse words, swear words, obscenities, profanity… what power they carry! Curse words can hurt others, and they also have the power to help you fit in with certain groups.

It was a moment for me that made time stand still.  Etched into my heart, I had created hurt beyond anything I ever intended or imagined I would. 

No, I didn’t physically harm the children I love so dearly.  But I was angry.  I was hot.  I was tired.  None of that should have mattered.  My children weren’t responsible for my pain.  But I exploded and they were nearby victims to my ranting, my emotional outburst, my flying curse words.

And to this day, I have no idea what set me off, so obviously, it wasn’t important. It may have been a chore they didn’t complete. It might have been that they were lost in a video game when they should have been doing homework. It might have been snacking before meal time. None of those issues is as important as having a good relationship.

curse words

I let loose curse words that my grandmother used to call “sailor talk”.  You can guess what they are without me getting into detail.

The anger and heat I was throwing out came right back and hit me hard!  The looks on their faces, that sense of lost trust, respect and love, melted me.  The hurt I may have thought I was releasing came back to me tenfold.

I had hurt my children, deeply and I could see it.  It was not my intention to hurt them, but I instantly knew there was a lot of work ahead to rebuild what I had just torn down.

In that moment, I made a swear — to never use swear words, curse words, offensive language again, especially to the people I love.

Am I perfect at it?   $&#@ NO! 

But I keep trying! The Master Key Experience material is helping me understand this more deeply and to stay more vigilant on my language choices. 

Lessons in managing the most powerful tool we own, our thoughts, this class focuses on helping people become more self-directed, more critical thinkers who want to be in harmony with the world, to find and live their own life of bliss, as our creator meant for us.

“The first form which thought will find is language, or words; this determines the importance of words; they are the first manifestation of thought — the vessels in which thought is carried. They take hold of the ether and by setting it in motion reproduce the thought to others in the form of sound.”

“Thought may lead to action of any kind, but whatever the action, it is simply the thought attempting to express itself in visible form. It is evident, therefore, that if we wish desirable conditions, we can afford to entertain only desirable thoughts.”

— Charles Haanel, The Master Key System, 15:12-13

Yikes.  So when I was focused on negativity, pain, and suffering, the word I chose, the sound I created came out as curse words.  And that’s exactly what I created in that moment, pain and suffering.  I was more literally CURSING the people around me without realizing it. 

I manifested that state, especially by adding so much emotion to it.  It was not a desirable condition, but the thought I had created in my mind was exactly what manifested.  My “desirable” condition in the moment was anger and pain, and I got it.

Let’s look for a minute at how “cursing” fits into this picture. A curse is intended to “use coarse or blasphemous language to express anger or a strong, usually negative, emotion” “Using a word or expression that is not polite and emits anger” So then, a curse seems to be associated with negative, even evil?

Well, I remember stories about witches, warlocks, or other dark and mysterious beings who would “curse” someone.

curse words

When that happens, they are speaking “an expressed wish that some form of adversity or misfortune will befall or attach to one or more persons, a place, or an object.”

So, then why would I choose to “curse” the people I love?  In my moment of cursing, I was not manifesting my true desire for creating love, respect and joy in my family.  I was tearing it apart.  ME!

Controlling Curse Words

I appreciate when people know I’m working toward speaking positive language to manifest just that.  I appreciate their support in my efforts to move away from negative language and all it manifests. 

I see that support when they apologize after they have said a curse word.  Still, I wonder what thought process was behind creating the word.  Was saying it just a habit, not a choice?  If it were actually a choice, was there a curse intended?  Was that a swear or negative intention just spoken? 

The government has tried to sequester the use of the curse words most commonly found to be offensive, and even now, still has some enforcement authority across public air waves to keep language more “clean”. 

7 words you can’t say on television

There’s a lot of conjecture behind why George Carlin created his 1972 monologue, “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television”.  Now 50 years old, these words still are discouraged and bleeped from the air waves. 

It’s my understanding that George was out to gain a bit more freedom from harassment on stage when he was using them.  After all, his work was not intended for very young audiences. 

According to The Atlantic, Carlin was the first to say the 7 curse words on stage since Lenny Bruce had made the practice of cursing in his monologues years earlier.  A test of freedom of speech, The Atlantic called it. 

It was one of George Carlin’s most popular monologues and was even aired a few times on public broadcasting, which led to court cases leading all the way to the Supreme Court.  Still, the FCC regulates offensive content, including those seven words.  

Despite the FCC’s efforts, however, along came cable television and the restrictions no longer existed across all air waves. With movies, over time, the words weren’t left out, the movie just got a rating so potential viewers could choose if they wanted exposure or not.

Over time, even curse words are less of a factor in a more restricted rating. They are slipping into media targeted at younger and younger age groups.

How do the FCC and the Motion Picture Association define acceptable language? They work with the term “offensive” content. 

Back to the dictionary, the 7 curse words Carlin references, and other words, related to race, religion, gender, and others, are compared to:

curse words

Offensive – “causing someone to feel deeply hurt, upset or angry; actively aggressive, attacking”

Again, more warning that offensive words are manifested for negative reasons, with intent to hurt others.

But their uncensored increase is evident.  Social media is riddled with curse words.  I notice more freedom and proliferation in using them in conversations I overhear everywhere. 

In some cultures, it’s almost a rite of passage into a group to be able to string together as many curse and hurtful words as you can in a sentence as often as you can.

There are instances where some students in Indiana were kicked out of school for using such language on social media and there have been cases where people have been dismissed from work. 

Connie Wendt found that some employers actually encourage or allow “foul” language because they interpret it as showing passion for the work or can motivate others.  She points out in her article, “Cursing in the Workplace: Is it Legal?”, that it can become dangerous.

“It’s a definite problem if a clear connection can be made between hostile language and the perceived motives of a harasser against a category of person(s) that is protected by law.” 

Creation of a “hostile” environment has been described as a situation where cursing is allowed or encouraged, along with dirty jokes.

Cursing is Not a New Thing

Profanity is known as “bad language”, used as an “intensifier” of language / emotion, intended to show disrespect.  They’ve been around for centuries, some traced back to the 15th century, according to Wikipedia, they’ve always existed to damage, hurt, or harm.

So when I hear others use the “offensive” words, I appreciate when they apologize.  I take that to mean they did not mean to offend or wish me ill with a curse.  But in the back of my mind, I just wonder what was it that triggered the choice of that particular word.  Is it habit to fit in, is it so ingrained that we don’t even notice any more? 

Seems harmless enough until I read,

“We cannot escape from the pictures we incessantly photograph on the mind, and this photography of erroneous conceptions is exactly what is being done by the use of words, when we use any form of language which is not identified with our welfare.”

Charles Haanel, The Master Key System, 15:15

Maybe we’re creating or encouraging more damage than we recognize.

At one workplace, I got the sense that people weren’t getting along as well as they could, and I wondered what role cursing might have played in the destruction of teamwork.  I decided to run a campaign to help people at least be more aware of their cursing.  I asked my fellow workers to contribute to a collection jar every time they said a curse word.  In two weeks, we collected a few hundred dollars that were given to the local food bank, a “Potty Mouths Feed Hungry Mouths” campaign, if you will.

If nothing else, we all were more aware of the words we were choosing to use to connect, or in some cases, disconnect.  It was a voluntary project, but I learned a lot from it.  Even from observing those who did not choose to participate. 

So then, how do we make improvements in our lives?  Maybe just start with our language —

“This leads to the inevitable conclusion that if we wish to express abundance in our lives, we can afford to think abundance only, and as words are only thoughts taking form, we must be especially careful to use nothing but constructive and harmonious language, which when finally crystallized into objective forms, will prove to our advantage.”

“We manifest more and more life as our thought becomes clarified and takes higher planes. This is obtained with greater facility as we use word pictures that are clearly defined, and relieved of the conceptions attached to them on lower planes of thought.”

Charles Haanel, The Master Key System, 15:14, 15:16

Which raises more questions for me than answers.  What if… everyone stopped cursing the world, the planet, whatever word follows f…ing?  What if we chose words of gratitude instead, no matter what it is?  Would that change the crazy weather patterns and natural phenomenon we experience?  What might that create instead?  Have those previous word choices led us to where we are now?  Just food for thought.

“… the combined record which we possess today is therefore the expression of Universal Thought as it has been seeking to take form in the mind of Man.”

Charles Haanel, The Master Key System, 15:19

Well, no one promised it would be easy.  Curse words, swear words have been around for a long time, but within my own world, maybe if I view all coming to me as a gift instead of a curse, it might become effortless to choose the kind of language Haanel references.

Putting a Stopper on Cursing

How do I do better?  I plan to recognize when I am using profane language or even thinking it, and when my emotions need expression or release, the good and the bad.  I plan to find words to practice using instead.  Words like “sugar” or “fudge” certainly sweeten things up.  Better yet, I can work on anger in more constructive ways.

Better yet, as my beautiful daughter-in-law has encouraged, just say what I really feel so others around me can understand and connect better with what I’m feeling and can respect it, relate to it, or react more appropriately.  And do so without hurting anyone else.  Again, so that love and joy can grow, not get pushed away.

I can just follow Haanel’s advice too:

“It is with words that we must express our thoughts, and if we are to make use of higher forms of truth, we may use only such material as has been carefully and intelligently selected with this purpose in view.

“This wonderful power of clothing thoughts in the form of words is what differentiates man from the rest of the animal kingdom; by the use of the written word he has been enabled to look back over the centuries and see the stirring scenes by which he has come into his present inheritance.”

Charles Haanel, The Master Key System, 15:17-18

As I look back at my present inheritance, what hath I wrought?  And what can I build from here?

Not to point out to anyone that they should or shouldn’t say certain words.  We all have the freedom to say whatever we want, but I’m encouraging myself, and perhaps others, to consider what we create on the mental plane, in our subconscious, and in the emotional spaces between and around us and others, especially those we love and care about, just by word choice!

And if you want some real help and hands-on support learning how to use the incredible tools of thought, and our brain, join the next class of the Master Key Experience

You can’t buy your way in, but you can apply for a scholarship.  Get on the list here to make sure you get an application… and some free gifts in the mean time until applications open.

I would appreciate your comments below.  How do you manage your word choices effectively?

Read more articles by Day Boswell

About the author

From corporate employee and global manager to unemployed, Day Boswell has created her own successful, growing consulting business, helping organizations excel. She credits the Master Key Experience with much of her success. Her passion is serving as staff, master guide and personal coach, sharing the principles and tools from that course to support others in having successful journeys.

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  • Thank you for sharing this, Day. Incredible food for thought. I expect very few people take (or make) time to authentically explore what’s behind their compulsion to swear (including yours truly). I expect habit, mostly. And since only a habit can replace another habit, I’m grateful for the insight you’ve given me to explore this further in my own communications.

  • Beautifully said, Day. I too am alarmed at how ‘casual swearing’ has become so prevalent. But I never thought about it this way, curse words really carrying a curse. Thank you!

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