Think about the hiccup-cure: "what did you have for supper last night?" Pondering that, oddly, the hiccups disappear. People think actions trump words. Often, they do. But besides magically curing hiccups, words work other wonders too. Remembering them though? It's tough. They have a casual way of escaping, floating away unnoticed. Yet we've all felt them like shrapnel too.
I know a man who wakes every morning, shuffles into the bathroom, looks into the mirror and without sarcasm, declares, "I get better looking every day!" This man is neither arrogant nor inordinately good-looking. His words are only for his own ears. Well, mostly. One could say he models this for his kids too. And sure, it's his particular brand of Dad-humour, but there's a worthwhile lesson in there too. How many of us could say that our self-talk uses a uplifting tone? Joyful? Even remotely positive? Is your inner voice a cheerleader? A reverse cheerleader? (A drearleader?) This is why I think singing in the car is such a good practice. Car kinda-karaoke drowns out the negative little stowaway bastards inside that cardboard refrigerator box house we built inside ourselves when we were kids.
Our words matter. They are powerful. And sometimes they mean everything (even move everything). To ourselves and to others. Equally.
I remember the last words I said to my mother...my father...my brother. Others too. Because I often feel compelled to say what I need to say, even when it's awkward, I am thankful for most of those last words. And the very last thing I said last night? Nothing special: "goodnight." At one time, those words were throw-aways, little intent. But usually I mean even those now. People tend to say, "you never know," but the truth is you do know. You do. So be selective. Especially those words given in love and respect and appreciation. And if you want them to stick, aim them. Intentionally.
“A strange thing, words. Once they're said, it's hard to imagine they're untrue.” ~Sharon Biggs Waller