Imagine for a minute that you’re holding a newborn baby. Maybe it’s your child, grandchild, niece or nephew. It’s someone beloved. You have limited time with this precious being and must impart something important before the clock runs out. What do you say?  I imagine that your words are deliberate, loving and truthful, to say the least. You’re probably using the time you have to plant seeds of positivity. Your time ends quickly.

Were your words helpful or a hindrance?

Now look in the mirror. How do you talk to the person you see? What words do you use? Are they encouraging words? Do you speak to yourself with love and kindness? How much positivity do you deposit within? If someone spoke to you the way you speak to yourself, how would you respond? So often, we say things to and about ourselves that are limiting, damaging and very often untrue. We are keenly aware of the habit when someone else practices it, but we aren’t as aware when we are guilty of the same.  Our own words can be brutal when we get a glimpse of ourselves in a mirror or drop a glass on the kitchen floor.

We receive messages about ourselves from the moment we are born. Even though we start as blank canvases, brush strokes are constantly added. From childhood taunts to hurtful tweets, we take on so many messages that it becomes difficult to distinguish between our portrait and an abstract painting. If we chose our language-to-self with the same care as that used to speak to the newborn, things would improve dramatically. By saying, ‘Accidents happen’ instead of saying ‘I’m so clumsy,’ we begin to disavow the pursuit of perfection.  If we are grateful that we have sight instead of cringing at what we see in the mirror, our thoughts become more positive.  We’d feel better. Each time I exit the shower I get a bird’s eye view of my ‘superpower.’  That’s what I call my thighs. With the help of my legs and feet, they take me wherever I need to go. Every day I smile because of them.

As if giving you broken little gifts, people will say and have undoubtedly said ugly things. But just because someone gives you something doesn’t mean you have to accept it.  Refuse the gifts of the wounded! Don’t let them paint on your canvas!  We are each brilliantly and intricately created unlike anyone else in the universe.  We are so unique that when we cease to exist, a hole is created by our absence. When we talk to ourselves in disparaging ways, we chip away at that uniqueness, and ourselves little by little.

Choose your words carefully. Be intentional. Replace bad ones with good ones. Reserve the best ones for yourself.  We can become good at anything with practice and this is no different. Like choosing argyle or ruffled socks, we also get to choose the words we wear.  Get dressed in fresh new words every day by replacing the old, stinky and mismatched.

“May the world be kind to you, and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself.”

Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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