I was reminded recently how powerful words can be after a simple phone call, from a good friend, that came at just the right moment. The reality that our words have the capacity to lift others up through inspiration, encouragement and reassurance never more clear to me than that day.
We learn from a young age that the ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’ nursery rhyme doesn’t hold up and that it’s important to be nice and all that, but I don’t think most of us really understand how restorative and strengthening our words can be in the lives of those around us.
Words Have Weight
Since moving back to Seattle, truthfully, the friendship thing has been hard for me. After this happened, it’s been difficult for me to want to invest in new relationships. When you’re working through all the emotions of such a loss, you tend to question yourself.
Maybe it’s me.
Maybe I’m not a good friend.
Maybe I suck at relationships.
These thoughts slowly seeped in my mind over the course of a few weeks. One morning I was tangled up in them when my friend called out of the blue. She said:
“Emily, I’m so grateful to have you in my life.”
“You’re good for people.”
“You have so much to give.”
“You lift others up.”
We talked for a while and after I hung up the phone I literally sunk to the ground of my closet as the weight of her words worked their way from my ears, down to my heart, like gravity. In an instant, the substance of them pushed out the darkness of self-doubt I’d been quietly wrestling with for weeks.
The crazy thing is, she had no idea. And other than a few minutes of her time, it cost her nothing.
And it struck me that an investment of a couple of words really can translate itself into something that ends up having a massive impact on another’s soul. Maybe for an entire life. Who knows.
One of my favorite Bob Goff quotes from Love Does is “Words people say not only have a shelf life but have the ability to shape life.”
Sometimes the most transformative things are the simplest. Just recognizing the impact our words can have on the people in our lives and making a conscious effort to use the weight of them for good is all it takes. It’s the stuff of world changers.
TAKE ACTION: Who knows if the substance of the truth you speak today won’t break the yoke of lies someone has been carrying for a very long time. Look for every opportunity to speak words of life to whoever you’re around. I will too:-)