I always have disliked that old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.  Personally, I would rather be physically injured, as those wounds tend to heal much quicker than the ones that are caused by hurtful words.  I find that words, my own and those of others, can make or break my day, so, today, I decided to focus on how to use words to help myself and others.

I begin each day reading a chapter from an inspirational book, and the latest book that I am reading is Gabrielle Bernstein’s new book, “May Cause Miracles”.  Each morning, she suggestions a daily affirmation, and I find that these positive words help me counteract the negative thoughts and words I mull over in my head and sometimes say aloud.  I have been paying more and more attention to how destructive my self-talk tends to be, so, I have been making an effort to become more aware of what I say to myself and to stop myself when I verbally berate myself.  It sounds much easier than it is, but I know that it is a long overdue shift in thought and perception that must happen, in order for me to live the life I envision for myself.  Words are powerful, and I want to use them to empower myself, instead of belittle myself.

In addition to knowing the destructive power of words, I also understand the healing power that words offer.  Today, I made a point of speaking kindly and offering genuine compliments to others, kind of like a verbal follow-up to yesterday’s Post-It notes exercise.  I know how pleasantly surprised I am to receive a compliment, especially from someone I don’t know, so, I looked for things to acknowledge to others.  I managed to compliment one of the men at the day shelter for homeless men on his snazzy new shirt, and I told an elderly woman in the neighborhood that surrounds the day shelter how much I loved her red purse.  I complimented a young mother on how well-behaved her children were while waiting in line, and I told the Starbucks barista how much his smile and warm greetings meant on a cold morning.  It was nice to watch each person’s positive reaction to such simple, yet sincere, words, and it felt good to look for what is right and good in the world, instead of what is wrong and less than perfect. 

Whether you say a little or a lot, take care in the words that you speak to yourself and to others, as they carry a lot of weight.  May we all be mindful of what words can do for ourselves and others, and may we choose to speak words that make a positive difference to all who hear them. 

Just one thing each day . . .

Categories: Just One Thing Each Day

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