As I age I become more and more conscious of the words I choose to use and the power the words I choose have to hurt, heal, console, conceal, uplift, denigrate. I have also grown to know the value of thinking about the power my words will hold before I write or speak them.
Yesterday a dear friend, a book club member, told me she loved reading the dictionary. She thought that was weird, but all I could think was I wish I had done more dictionary reading. So this morning when I sat down to do my writing I plunked the dictionary, an actual physical book, down beside me and thumbed through new, beautiful words I hadn't known before. I hope she would be pleased.
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." A sentence of words I heard on the school playgrounds of my childhood. A chant in response to verbal bullying. There is evidence that this old adage was first used in 1862. I have never liked this chant although I am certain I used it myself. I can remember all the hurtful words ever said to me, but I don't recall ever being hit with sticks and stones. I don't dwell on those hurtful words and wish with all my heart they could be taken out of our vocabulary all together. But they serve a purpose. For every hateful, hurtful word there are many, MANY more beautiful, love filled words that can be substituted. I wish more of those beautiful words would be spoken in our every day conversations.
I dare to call myself an author. In the writings I hope to publish and on my social media platforms I am conscious of the words I choose. I want my words to uplift. The world needs uplifting words right now. So do our families. Our friends. Our neighbours. Our co-workers. Most importantly - OURSELVES!
We need to be conscious of the words we are telling ourselves. Whisper beautiful words to yourself before you go to bed at night. Think beautiful words to yourself when you wake up in the morning. Speak beautiful words out loud to yourself every time you look in the mirror. If we whisper, think and speak beautiful words to ourselves we have those words ready to speak to others.
This morning as I put my feet inside my slippers I didn't say "Sheesh my toenails need a good clip" (they do) I said instead "where will we be able to walk today?" When I looked in the mirror I didn't "look at those wrinkles and grey hair" I said, out loud, "well old girl let's get some coffee and get back to that great book we started last night." Tonight when I go to bed, right after I whisper all the prayers I have for my family and friends, I will whisper "have a lovely sleep and may all your dreams be beautiful."