There are drafts of this on paper and in my head, it’s been written out in one form or the other many times. This won’t be perfect and I’ll probably be drafting this one for a long time even though I’ve written it.
Words. I love words. On pages of books they have been my best friend throughout most of my life. My escape into a world that felt more like home than this one. My school, where I’ve truly leaned about life beyond the math and science taught in schools.
Words have power. They’re just letters put together, but they can change everything. Words can lift us up or leave us with paper cuts.
I’ve had to close books before because the words brought me to tears and bruised my heart. Those same books have also brought joy and laughter to my life. All because of words.
As I get older I stop and choose my words more often. In writing and in speaking.
The world we live in now could use a bit more of that I think. Less reactive words. More thought put into them. We can use words to love, even when we’re hurting or confused or angry. We shouldn’t hold back or lie about our thoughts or feelings to avoid offending or uncomfortable topics, but as my mom has reminded me often in life, we can speak our truth in softer words. For most of my life I was great at sharing my truth, but not quite so good at the softer part.
Speak in love. This includes to ourselves. Often the words we say to ourselves are the ones that hurt us most, but are also what help us most. In my constant strive to accept that I don’t need to be perfect I find myself having to speak words of love and compassion to myself (because y’all, no words anyone can say to me hurt worse than my own when I tear myself down for not being “perfect enough”). In turn I find it easier to use compassion and love with others.
Friends, this world will beat us up more than enough. We can decide to use our words wisely and be kind instead of angry when we don’t agree. We can choose to speak to each other in ways that build our relationships of all kinds. Using our words, which are vessels for our thoughts, to strengthen ourselves and each other.