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Have you ever considered the power of words?
I have always had a love for words—they have walked with me throughout my life.
From a young age, I was in love with reading and writing. I loved the way that the words in my cherished books transported me to worlds of fantasy, romance, mystery, and more.
Reading set my imagination on fire.
In the world of books, anything is possible. But, I never fully understood the power that these black squiggles on a page really have over people.
I thought of them as a means of creative inspiration and basic communication.
Do words have power beyond just fueling our imagination?
Think about it for a minute. Words—good or bad—are how we communicate. We use them to show our emotions—whether we’re sad, happy, angry, or excited.
Words say, “I love you.” Others say, “I do.” They heal wounds or expose them. They can lift us higher than we have ever imagined or push us lower than we have ever dared to think. But we get to choose which way to balance the scales, don’t we?
Words come from us; so does power. Do we understand the power we hold with the words that we choose to use every day?
Words evoke emotions in us. For instance, if someone says to us, “You’re useless, you’ll never achieve anything,” these words would sink like stones in our hearts. But if someone tells us, “I knew you could do it; I always believed in you,” we would be filled with self-love and pride.
This is the power we hold in our words. Used in the right way, they can lead a person to live a life of joy and worthiness. When used the wrong way, however, the outcome is quite different.
That said, we want to go through life lifting each other with our words, don’t we?
If we thought about it more carefully, would we choose our words more wisely?
When I was in high school, I got negative feedback from a teacher that has stayed with me ever since.
What might not have impacted the teacher, hurt me, deeply. I have only recently made a conscious decision not to hold myself back because of a few words that a woman spoke over 25 years ago.
Those words hurt, but she didn’t realize for a minute that she said anything of significance to me. How sad to have wasted my time holding on to something negative in my heart. Then I realized that they were only words—I made them larger than they needed to be.
I had to release that negativity and self-doubt and begin to heal. For me, the lesson in this was to not let words determine my worth.
Have you had an experience like this in your life? Have words had control over you like they did with me? For someone who loves words so much, it cut deep to have them wound me like they did.
Consequently, I had to learn to take away some of the power they had over me and to understand that I was giving them that power.
I hope we can pause and think for a while about the impact our words can have on others.
>> Consider how a kind word can make a huge difference.
>> Compliment someone on the dress they’re wearing or the colour of their eyes.
>> Offer words of encouragement when someone is struggling with something instead of reinforcing their own self-doubt.
We are all looking for acceptance and acknowledgement in life, and we give and receive this through our words.
Make sure you choose yours well.
Remember the words that carry strong negative emotions, such as useless, disappointment, weak, slow, and dumb. Try to banish them from your vocabulary and replace them with beautiful, love-filled ones like special, creative, unique, delightful, talented, and precious.
How uplifting are words like these? How wonderful is it to hear them directed at us or someone we love?
Positive words feed us with joy and bring out the best in us—they fill us with love and hope for this world.
There is an awful lot in life that we have no control over, but our words are our own. We choose them and we choose their power.
I’ve always loved this quote by Gandhi:
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Choosing our words wisely is a perfect opportunity to be that change. Yes, words have power, so let’s harness the power for good.
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” ~ Mother Teresa