Have you ever stopped to think of the real power of WORDS? We hear lots of different quotes about being KIND, think about your words before SAYING them, that the NEGATIVE sticks much longer than the POSITIVE words, etc. If you really think about it, words are really affecting a lot of things going on in our lives RIGHT NOW.
For the last 35 years I’ve had a habit that was started because of WORDS, these ones were written down.
Growing up there was a family that lived close by that was like family to us. There was a young man that was my age in that family that I respected and counted as a friend. I placed a lot of value on our conversations, his opinions and of course, there were times over the years that I would have a crush on him, but we never were in a relationship, just overall had a good friendship.
In my early teen years I was laying upstairs in the hallway, very crampy, close to the bathroom and hoping I could survive that wonderful time of the month. I didn’t want anyone to see me - I felt very ugly. One of my siblings came to me as I was curled up in a ball and said they had a note from one of my friends for me. Before I opened the letter I was thinking how nice that someone wrote me a letter when I wasn’t feeling well.
I opened up the handwritten note and it didn’t contain many words, but it read something to this effect, “You are so ugly. You should never leave your room without showering, putting make up on and doing your hair to help cover your ugliness.”
This note was from this friend that I had known for several years and highly respected. At that point I decided that I would NEVER leave my room without makeup and my hair done and would shower before I ever went downstairs, including for breakfast. That no one would see me undone in hopes of having some kind of value / beauty. I’ve kept that habit my whole life until recently.
“You are so ugly. You should never leave your room without showering, putting make up on and doing your hair to help cover your ugliness.”
Honestly, I’ve not thought about that note often, it’s just a habit at that time I committed to and it’s something that has stuck with me. There have been times friends have asked me to exercise early in the mornings and it’s been a very difficult thing for me to do and honestly I’ve generally showered, done my hair and makeup gone and exercised and then come home and gotten ready again for the day. Days of surgery I’ve gotten ready for the day to go to the hospital for surgeries.
Over the last year my boys have questioned this habit and it’s caused me to reflect on the power of words and the impact this note has had on me for over 30 years. The young man that wrote that note is someone I still know, we’ve stayed friends over the years, would visit at college and the list goes on. We’ve had many interactions over the years. I’m betting he has no idea that note had any kind of impact on me and he’s a great guy. I’m sure it was probably something funny, maybe a joke, a bad day, peer pressure - who knows, but it’s stuck with me.
As I’ve done counseling this year I’ve started to allow myself to be a little more comfortable, not too much, but getting a little better about maybe not having my hair or makeup done to go downstairs in my own home. I ALWAYS shower first thing - that’s not an option. I’m working on believing that there is beauty in me. I’m working on loving myself and seeing value within myself. It’s something I’ve never believed so it’s something I’m reprogramming my mind to believe.
On the other hand I reflect back on my life and I can also remember compliments and kind words that have been shared with me. Over the last few months the sincere, kind words have sunk much deeper and I’ve been able to feel them.
Recently we were at Salem Pond for a few hours with our family and some friends. It was quiet and peaceful and the weather was perfect. I was truly relaxed and pondering things in my life. I decided to go for a walk around the pond. One thing that I decided to do was as I walked around the pond to look at anyone that I crossed paths with or were by the lake or sitting at a picnic table in the eye and say hello and be open to a conversation. It was such a great experience. I visited with a couple of guys sitting at a picnic table and as I left I wished them a good day. A young lady was fishing and she and I had a quick visit about her catching fish and wished her the best and the list goes on. I absolutely loved it! They were smiling and I was smiling and it felt good for my heart and healing. I was grateful I could share some kind words with strangers that day.
Words are something that have always been very powerful to me - good and bad. I’m not perfect by any means, but I work at seeing the good, sharing encouraging words with others, compliments, smiling and saying hi and looking people in the eye - striving to make a positive difference in others lives. I encourage each one of you to think about the power of your words. What are you doing to share your KIND WORDS? As a friend of mine just said to me, “Words are the most powerful tools we have.”
Please watch the video below. It is one of my most favorite videos on the Power of Words.
A wife and mother of 4 boys and 1 daughter-in-law, I have spent my entire adult life devoted to my family. I have been busy in their schools, supporting them in all of their school work, sporting events, activities, etc. I spent years heavily involved in the PTA, church callings, etc Life for me has always been overwhelmingly busy. While I thought this was my sanity, the truth is it masked issues - real issues - that I needed to work on to gain true sanity. I am sharing my story in this blog. I do this so that I might be able to help other women find their true sanity