I have been thinking a lot about words and how I use them, and I have been thinking about them for a few months. I have tried to eliminate negative words from my vocabulary, and that effort has met with some small success. Each morning in my journal, I make a list of things that I would like to affirm in my life. I try to start each statement with the words “I am”. Those two words…which are actually God’s name for himself, seem to carry powerful energy. I don’t EVER use the phrase “I am not” because that focuses on some thing lacking or something negative.
This morning, as I was writing in my journal, I wanted to write the phrase “to live fearlessly.” Yet when I went to write the word “fearlessly” I misspelled it. (Just now I made a typo in it and had to re-type it!) When I queried myself about why I was having a difficult time spelling it, it occurred to me that it was a negative word even though I wanted to use it in a positive way. A compound word of “fear” and “less” both which are negative energy words. Thinking of the positive aspect of living without fear, I thought maybe there would always be something fearful. Perhaps everyone has some fear in their life. So, how could we live fearlessly? A more appropriate phrase might be to “live courageously,” which–to me–portrays an ability to see fear but to move past it.
There is a myriad of ways to hurt ourselves and to hurt others with our words. Overt ways, and ways in which we might think we are being helpful. It is just as painful to hear “I will buy you a new wardrobe if you will lose weight” as it is to hear “You are fat.” It is just as painful to say “You can have plastic surgery to fix that” as it is to say “Your nose is ugly”. My best advice to anyone…is to keep those kind of words to yourself. Nobody wants your opinion about that sort of thing.
But words can be used in beautiful, kind ways. Ways that will make your heart soar and give you hope for the future of mankind. Like this little note I found on my desk this morning….