We all have words rolling around in our memories. Words of encouragement and words of shame. Words that built us up to make good choices or words to caused us to stumble and fail.
“You got this.”
“You can’t do it.”
“You will do great things, I know it.”
“You’ll never amount to anything.”
“You will be a great mother.”
“You will make a terrible mother.”
All these things have been said to me when I was younger by different women.
Last night I ran into my mother’s best friend. She’s been around since I was little and I’m now almost 40 so at least 30 years. She encouraged me a lot and kept saying how proud she was of the woman I have become. After I left, I thought about how she was proud. She has right to be. She was one of the many women who encouraged me throughout my journey. I have clear memories of the kind words she always had, the encouragement to do my best, to get an education however it may come, to have fun as much as possible, to laugh a lot, to take it all in stride and to lean on God no matter what the circumstances. Until last night, I hadn’t really thought about how much of an influence she was in my life.
Then I started thinking about all the other many women (and men too but my focus today is about the women!) who have impacted my life for the better. Women who have steered me in the right direction with a subtle and positive guidance. Teachers, friends from church, family, neighbours, leaders, coaches, and even the bus driver have all been people who have given me praise and influenced my life and my thought process.
When I think of all the positive experiences, there are probably a whole lot more negative Nancy’s who have tried to tear me down over the years. I know a few women who think it’s great fun to knock others down, to comment out loud on every negative thing about anyone, and coincidentally don’t have many friends. Thankfully I have been blessed with a good sense of self-esteem and I can usually throw away their negativity. I can see the pain, sadness and jealousy and the evil that those people are surrounded by. I have disregarded most of the comments but clearly some of them stick with me.
Our words stick.
Ponder that for a moment. Every word that you say to another person has the power to stick with them forever. That’s pretty intense.
So think about the words you are saying. Are they helpful, loving, kind, encouraging? Are they words you want to be remembered by? Are they words that a young girl will remember for the next 40 years and will inspire her to grow up to be amazing woman? Are they sweet words that will heal a young woman’s heart or salty words that will sting every time they are recalled?
As we head into a new year, let’s all try to use sweet words not salty. Let’s try to find those young girls in our community who need us to encourage them and guide them to be successful, happy, women and mothers. And while we’re at it let’s try to encourage and inspire the women in our circles who may have been filled with too many negative words lately. If that is you, I hope that you will take to heart these words from me to you.
To My Dear Reader & Friend,
You were created for a purpose. You are wonderful in so many ways. You have many talents and abilities and I encourage you to use them to help others and build others up. In 2019, my prayer for you is that you use the power of your words to praise, inspire, cheer on, guide and encourage others.