Are words alive?
I’ve been posing this question to myself.
Whether spoken or perceived, words encompassing every area of our existence, in the form of thoughts, actions and feelings. Revealing our mind and our heart, words can harness love and kindness, as well as provided comfort for children. They can capture beauty, brilliance and intelligence, providing snippets of insight that carry us or move us in a certain direction.
On the flip side, they can strike fear. A handful of words have emboldened armies for battle and can be wielded, weaponized and wounding. In this moment, I can’t help but recall some of the terrible words we idly unleash, like dumb, stupid, fat, ugly.
Words can provoke our soul.
If someone speaks your name, it’s a factual statement. Though sometimes, we have no idea how true those words are and simply acknowledge them. Maybe we need to reevaluate.
If someone asks “Who are you?”, we respond by giving our name, because those words declare our beliefs, proclaim who we are or propel us to action, often depending on the words that follow. They thrust us in to what comes next, whether a thought, feeling or action.
Then, there are those rare occasions. When asked “Who are you?”, we – without hesitation – fling ourselves to action, as the response. Why? Because the words are affirming. To us, they are factual and they are true.
A name, those simply spoken words, validate us. We come alive, or shrink back, based on what we think of them, how we view them and in turn forming who we are from their foundation.
What does that mean for us? For me? For you?
Let’s look at this from another perspective. And, it doesn’t matter whether or not you believe in God to see where I’m going with this.
“In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (John 1:1, 4-5 NLT, via Biblegateway.com)
Thinking about that, if it was the word that created life, how many times have our words inspired life? If words are the light of creation, why do we share the darkness by speaking hurtful, harmful things? Why do we inflict death?
I think, at times, we more often share the ugly words, instead of the pretty ones. The words that may inflict only a small cut in a moment, but have the possibility to fester a year, five years, a decade, a lifetime. When words are spoken over our lives, we so often carry that narrative believing it to be truth. We allow the words to bind us, inhibit us, label and limit us.
What if we changed the narrative? What if we changed our words? And how we view them? Instead of inflicting death, what if we spoke life?
When someone says something beautiful, I often say, speak it true. If our words are alive, what is the truth that we can share?
We can allow those same words to free us and inspire us. We can hold them as a banner to light our life on fire, sparking passion deep inside our spirits and running with it. Let’s make sure the words spoken over us are accurate. Spoken true.
One tiny change of speaking words of inspiration can become our affirmation. We repeat those words to ourselves on a bad day and they shine their light in the darkness that surrounds us.
And, what if we could share that light by speaking it true for others? By telling someone the positive, instead of the negative?
By igniting the Power of Words…and igniting life.
Show others our words matter and that the words we speak are alive.
Have you thought about your words? Do you need to change them? What happens if you do?
And most importantly, how do you speak the Power of Words and shine light on a life today?