The Power of Words
Updated: May 3, 2019
Have you ever stopped to think about how words can be a balm to someone's soul or merely uplift the receiver? In a matter of a few seconds, the words that flow from others have the power to either elevate or deflate...that's all it takes.
I've been thinking about a trip I recently took, meeting up with forty-some strangers - all women whom I've never met before. We only knew each other from a Facebook group of authors, some published, some not. But that didn't matter. This wasn't a gathering of one-upping or keeping score. Rather, it was the coming together because we share a common bond: the love of words.
I admit I was nervous about this trip, like most others were by their own admittance. I believe we get comfortable in our routine of life, never straying too far from our contentment. At least, I do. I've been stuck in my own zone for so long that I found my growth to be somewhat stagnant. I had no idea how much I needed this time, not only with myself, but with total strangers. Spending three days in the Smoky Mountains with no agenda was just what I needed. Sure, we all attempted to squeeze in some writing and we did, for the most part. But we also did a lot of conversing, laughing, drinking, eating. It was the best three days...
I admit after my few days were up, I was ready to get home. I missed my husband, my bed, my cat; my comforts. And when people asked if I had a good time, I'd say, "It was great. I'd do it again." And I moved on.
It took me a bit to see how my little getaway changed me - how these women changed me. Now, when I'm back in my chats with these ladies on Facebook, I know them. I can picture their expressions, hear their laughs, see their hearts, feel their warmth. I've never had a problem with self-acceptance or being alone. At the risk of sounding egotistical, I love myself. I like spending time with me and I know who I am and what makes me tick. But I never realized how others viewed me or perceived me. I don't think much about it because I don't need the acceptance of others to be happy. And I think that stems from because I'm so content in my own skin.
About a month after our gathering was my birthday and many wished me well and "Happy Birthday" on Facebook. But when I read the words of some of those women that I hung out with...well, they brought tears to my eyes. I had no idea the impact I had on them or how they perceived me. And it truly stunned me when words like beautiful, selfless, respect and fierce were tossed around. Is that how people perceive me? Is that what they see? I had no idea. But it was so uplifting and eye-opening and really made me think that maybe I need to tell others what I think of them more often. Don't withhold something that you think - let it out. Tell that woman that you love her dress, how it makes her eyes pop. Be the person who tells the mom with the screaming toddler that it's okay. Uplift people with your words because they are so powerful.
Be the catalyst of change in how one person perceives themselves. You never know how it may affect them. After all, your words could be the tool that set the dominos into motion.