Power of words

Originally printed in the pages of Simply Family Magazine’s February 2017 issue. Never miss an issue, check out SFM’s digital editions, here

By Jamie Beeson

Photo by Beth Beeson

Words paint pictures. Most people agree there is power in the words spoken to us or the words we speak to others, but what about the power of the words we speak to ourselves? You drop a little “paint” on the wrong place and it’s possible it might clean up without destroying the surface onto which it fell. But, what happens when you paint an entire picture, leave it to dry, and add to it daily for years? There’s no erasing the picture you’ve painted. That “painting” creates the setting and scene for which you play out your life. If you’ve painted a storm and you’re an insignificant, vulnerable sailor lost at sea, that is now the “filter” through which you will receive and approach life.

Knowing the power words have in a destructive sense, gives us hope in the power they have in an affirming sense. It’s often said; it takes 10 words of praise to erase 1 word of put down. What if we start using words to describe our life, choices, and circumstances which paint a picture of promise? While we can’t totally erase negative word paintings from memory, we can: alter them, paint a rainbow in the sky of the storm, recreate our character, give them wings to fly into the wind, and show a break of clouds in the distance.

Have you ever purchased a new car only to realize every other vehicle on the road is the same make, model, and color of the one you just purchased? Or became keenly aware of all the babies and pregnant ladies, when you or your wife is pregnant? This is due to a little superpower we have called: focus. What you focus on is what you find. It grows and becomes real. What if we choose to use words to help us create focus and “paint” a picture we’d like to see more of? For example, focus on the word “joy”. Remind yourself of the times you have been filled with joy. Create circumstances and make choices that bring you joy. Start noticing joy in others. Start searching for the word in print, song, movies, and even in symbols. Eventually, everywhere you go, you will see and experience joy. You have painted a word picture in your mind and created a setting of joy; a filter through which you experience life differently.

February CHANGE Challenge:

Instead of trying to remove all of the destructive word pictures you’ve previously painted, start to alter what you say. Don’t focus on what you don’t want; focus on what you do want. Start to speak out words you want to see and experience more of in your life. Using the above example, maybe you feel like you are always down, discouraged, and kind of a “negative Nancy.” It’s likely your words, thoughts, and someone else’s words helped you paint that picture. Write the word “joy” on your bathroom mirror. Buy a graphic tee with the word “joy” splashed across it. Wear a bright pair of shoes and call them your “joy” shoes. Write down 3 things each night that bring you “joy” from the past or present. Focus on using, seeing, and finding the word “joy” everywhere you go for 1 month. Watch what happens to the “negative Nancy” in your painting. Pretty soon, her face has a smile, she’s wearing sparkly boots, and she seems to skip instead of sulk everywhere she goes. If your new painting is full of joy, your words to others will spill out from the overflow in your heart.

“Words can inspire and words can destroy. Choose yours well.”  -Robin Sharma

about the author...Jamie, wife of her high school sweetheart and mom of 4 boys, has been in the fitness industry for 18 years. "Fuel the body, mobilize the soul" is her mission. Connect with Jamie on Facebook www.facebook.com/jamiebeeson1 or online at www.workoutplanz.com