This morning Noah decided he didn't want to take yogurt for lunch anymore because some had leaked in his lunch pail. I washed it out and then gave it back to him to fill up. When he said he didn't want a yogurt (which, in addition to a Larabar is pretty much all he usually eats for lunch) he started to put the lunch in his backpack, so I took a quick peek only to find a chocolate-covered Powerbar in there.
Now don't get me wrong, I love Powerbars and there is a reason we have them in our house. The boys both know Powerbars are food for exercising. They are not for casual eating. Well, Noah was none to happy about me telling him a Powerbar was not a healthy lunch and proceeded to have a melt-down right in the middle of the kitchen. You know the lay-on-the floor-and-cry-until-mommy-almost-loses-it kind of melt-down. (It was at precisely this moment that I wished I had just let him have it.)
I have noticed with my beloved son that part of the problem is that he is having trouble putting how he feels into words, and I have been working on trying to help him get better at this. I find myself saying things like "Use your words" and "I can help you if you tell me what is wrong, but I can't if you just cry."
All of this talk of using words, though, has really gotten me thinking about words in general and how we use them. Maybe it is just me, but I find words to be very powerful. In my #project30days morning reflections I include a Bible verse and a quote, and I am constantly amazed at the power a few simple words have to motivate me, to inspire me, to lift me up, to help me understand things and more. The Bible says "death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21). I think this is very interesting.
We can build up with our words, yet we can also tear down. How often do you say to yourself something like this: "Ugh. I'm so stupid" or "I'm so fat" or "I'm so slow" or "Why is everything so hard?" or "I will never be/do ____________." If we are constantly streaming words over ourselves that tear ourselves down, what will that do? We start believing them and start acting on them.
Likewise, if we wash ourselves in a waterfall of positive words we begin to embrace those. Instead of "I'm so stupid," I can say "I am so smart. I'm surprised that got by me!" Instead of "I'm fat," I can say "I am working hard on being healthy every day." Instead of "I'm slow," I can say "I am a runner." Instead of "I will never be or do," I can say "I am."
The other part of this is about what the people around you say. Do you surround yourself with positive people or do you find yourself in the group trying to see who has it worse in life? The amazing thing about positivity is that it is infectious! Unfortunately the same is true of negativity. You can choose which camp you will be in.
If you are serious about creating a life that is fulfilling and positive, I have some advice for you.
Use your words and use them well.