Words

I think words matter. The ones that get spoken and those that remain hidden.

There are an incredible number of words in the world. When you consider all the different languages, it must be in the millions, especially if you include slang words.

I was thinking about words the other day and split them into two categories, mean words and kind words. There are no doubt neutral words, but I’m leaving them out of the equation for now.

What struck me was that I wasn’t drawn in by the actual words themselves, but more by the way they are used and the intent behind them. The way we choose them or express them.

I think it says a lot about us.

I try to use kind words whenever I can and find that I feel better when I do. When I use mean words, not only do they hurt others, but they also hurt me. I feel it inside and I don’t like it.

Words seem to have a lasting effect. They leave a trail. They can be life changing. But they can also be life threatening. They can sink you into the depths or allow you to rise.

I’d like to say that I always take great care with words, but I don’t. I am human and….and what? And I make mistakes. I choose words without thinking, without considering their impact, both to others and to myself.

I wonder, is it even possible to be conscious of all the words we use? We say so many in a day. I think it’s possible that we feel we need to.

I wonder another thing. What would it be like to stop using words for a while?

I once read a fascinating book about John Francis. He was distraught about certain things in his life and decided to take a vow of silence for one day. That one day led to another. And then another. And then to a string of days that would last for seventeen years. Yes, I said, 17 years.

Can you imagine going without words for that long?

How would you communicate with your loved ones and with the world?

Sure, you could use sign language or some form of it, but in a way that seems the same to me. They are words in picture form, but still words.

Wordless. Talk about an isolating feeling.

Although my initial focus was on the mean or kind words we say to each other and the impact they have, I shifted to wondering about the words we say to ourselves.

Can you think of the most recent words you told yourself? What were they? Were they mean or kind? How did you feel when you heard yourself say them? Did you want to take them back? Did you want to let them go, to rid yourself of them?

Did your words reflect your truth or were they reflections of what others have said to you?

These are big questions.

I don’t have all of the answers. I probably never will. That’s okay. I don’t need to know everything. What I do know is that words matter. And I’m trying not to take them lightly, because they form my world. They speak to me, and they speak for me.

I’ve come to a decision about all of this. I want them to speak for my heart and for my spirit and to offer love to the world. That’s what feels the most right to me.

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