Words can be beautiful. Words can lift us up, brighten our day and inspire our lives.
But words can also be cruel. Words can limit and torment us, degrade and debilitate us.
Words can help and they can harm, but they do not have to define us forever.
We can change our words and our minds. We can change the stories we tell ourselves and the stories we choose to listen to from others.
Just because someone says something, does not make it true and that includes me and you.
There is the small matter of what exactly is truth? Many things are actually a matter of perspective, and if you change your perspective then that may alter the way that you perceive the events and environment around you. Even scientific truth evolves and changes as what was once deemed fact is proven wrong and our understanding of the universe expands.
What we choose to focus our attention on in any given moment is intensely personal and unique to us. We may feel that everyone else is surely thinking the same as us, that it must be obvious, irrefutable, undeniable fact but this is often not the case.
The stories we choose to tell and re-tell can help us make sense of particular moments but seen from a different angle, another’s viewpoint or with the benefit of hindsight and space for reflection, these same stories can be overturned and re-written.
There is power in the words that we use to describe our own situation and that of others. The words that we choose to describe our feelings, our relationships and the events of our lives will influence how we, and others, see them.
Our words can shape our beliefs and our actions. They can be a force for good, kindness and compassion or they can restrict us, separate us and limit our capacity for change and for understanding.
Increasing our awareness of how the words that we use may be shaping our experience can open up opportunities, remove what we once viewed as obstacles and allow for shifts to occur, for alternative ideas to flow and for changes of heart.
If we can catch ourselves when we realise that the words we are using, the stories we are telling, are not helping us to move forward, to find peace and joy, to be kinder to ourselves and others, then we may be able to stop, to pause, reflect and re-frame. Recognising the many different ways this moment might be perceived may reveal many different choices and possibilities for our response.
There is an element of choice in the stories we tell ourselves and other people.
Make your story a good one.