Several months ago, I set three goals for myself.
The first involved attitude.
The second involved perspective.
And the third involved words. More of them, to be exact.
I decided I wanted to work on seeking out and utilizing words in ways that were healthy and life-giving. I wanted to gorge myself on ideas and books, conversations and prayers. I wanted to float in it, this season in which I have the silence and the time and the lonely spirit in which to befriend specific words, and I’ve found that I feel more buoyant than I have in a long time.
My hope was that this practice would translate into more positive communication in terms of the world around me- that I wouldn’t waste words on unnecessary negativity and that I wouldn’t shy away from seeking out the right terms and verbiage to express myself and my emotions. And this may seem silly to some, or obvious to others, the idea of focusing on words and the ways in which they fill your body and your mind and those spaces in your heart that need rearranging. But I think in the end it has given me more peace and more courage than I ever could have imagined. I’ve read more books and initiated more difficult conversations. I’ve written more pages and spoken with my God more readily and more passionately. I’ve messed up tremendously and then moped around in my humility more eloquently. I’ve shared more and cried more (can you imagine?) and felt more than I have in a long time, and in the end, I have to believe it’s because of the words. It’s what they say, yes. But I think it’s also the practice of seeking them out- of layering them strategically, one by one- that matters so much.
And at the end of each day, after all of this layering, I let them settle into the places of myself that need them most and I feel better.
(Proverbial check mark follows.)