If there is anything that we know from our own childhood, it is that words carry weight. On one side of the scale, they can be burdensome, almost to the point of hindrance.
On the other side of the scale, words can be worth their weight in gold, paving ways of freedom, determination, and success.
When I look at my toddler, eager to absorb and repeat every little thing I say, I can’t help but wonder how my words are affecting her. Will she be weighed down? Hindered? Paralyzed by the negativity of my words? Or will she one day be carried by the meaningfulness of them, cashing them in for their invaluable worth? Will they help her rise far above to heights of self determination and priceless possibilities?
Most of us remember things we were told as children, good and bad. Unfortunately, negative words often root themselves a little deeper than we care to admit. We come to realize that we have spent much of our life trying to uproot those negative, stifling comments.
However, it is the life-giving words from years past that I often find myself grasping for as an adult. They are the breath of confidence I inhale.
Words have the ability to breathe life, restore, renew. And these words that we speak that build our children up are not just the ones we say to them. They are also the ones they hear us speaking about ourselves and about others. And the ones they hear when we are personally faced with challenges; when we are battling our own fears and insecurities.
They are the words they hear when we look at ourselves in the mirror and decide what we think about ourselves. The ones they hear when we respond to a cashier who takes a really long time to complete our order or when we are impatiently driving through traffic. They are the words they hear from us when life circumstances cloud our vision and we are unsure of what tomorrow brings. They are the words that fall from our lips when we are faced with disappointment and with the choice to forgive or not.
Their little ears are listening. And their big hearts are receiving. Their lives are shaping and molding into the person they will become with each spoken word they hear from us.
My hope and prayer is that my words will be worth their weight in gold; that every day of my child’s life, she will be rooted in life-giving wisdom and affirmations. That when the time comes, when she is faced with uncertainties, challenges, fears, and difficult choices, she can recall words of wisdom, of peace, of joy, of strength, and of confidence, words of sound advice, of kindness, of gentleness, and of love . . .
Words that will carry her, not burden her, long after I am gone.
Originally published March 2019.
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