Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Talk less. Say more.

Recently I've been spending a lot of time thinking about what I say, why I say what I say, and how I say it. As an English teacher, I have deep respect for the beauty and power of words. An author's ability to string nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs together often provoke strong emotions from me. Tears, laughter, action. Words have power. Words have impact.

My career is built on the belief that words have power, that they matter, and yet, I often run my mouth without considering the power behind the words falling out. Yes, falling out. Rarely is there true intention behind the language I use. In fact, in the past week, I can count on one hand the number of times I truly thought before I spoke. This is a problem.

The root of this problem could be a variety of things. As I've reflected on my mouth, though, I've come to the conclusion that a large part of it is from self-confidence/esteem issues. Most of my life I've been good with words, thus when others did things to hurt me, I said things to hurt them. I'm not proud of it. In fact, there are several specific instances in the past few years that cause me to cringe. 

I'm not the only one who believes in the power of words. The Bible says that "Death and life are in the power of the tongue," Proverbs 18:21. With this in mind, I'm working to be more mindful of my words. I'm not even close to good at it right now, let alone perfect, but I pray that one day I'll have true control over my mouth so that it is used to bless and not to curse. 

As I press on toward one day finally harnessing my words, I pray that it helps me become the woman I truly want to be. One who is kind and encouraging, patient and compassionate, and one who gives life through her words.

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