“My son, you can make it.”
I’ve heard these five words over and over again from my parents in the seven years I was living in New York City. This very phrase spurred me to hope when I felt I was in a dead-end. There have been more than a few moments where I was feeling hopeless, wondering if there’s anything worthy to see in my future. But these very words Papa and Mama will always declare over me has saved me countless times. It was a statement that caused me to press on.
This experience from my parents’ spoken words was one of the many lessons I would learn about the significance, impact, and value of speaking life.
I remember the effect it had on me one night. I just failed to get the job I needed (and was informed via SMS about it). My bank account has dried up and I really didn’t know how to sustain myself. I remember crying while riding the subway, superbly unhappy with what happened. As I closed my eyes, with numerous deep sighs in between, these words reverberated in my mind, almost audible. At that moment, my parent’s instilled confidence in my future, verbalized and spoken to me, took center stage in an ocean of depressing thoughts. “My son, you can make it.” The statement was an assurance that despite where I am and what I’m going through, I can make it in this life.
A declaration made for or towards a person is a two-edged sword: It can bring life or take it away. These five words gave me hope when I feel like I’m in the abyss. But there were also numerous insults, unnecessary comments, and accusations that have sucked the life out of me.
Though receiving hurtful words is inevitable, it’s possible to negate its effect in the long run. Unfortunately, though, the sting of such words still hurts the moment it’s spoken. The impact of negatively spoken words in my life has become irrelevant, but the memory of when they appeared and where it came from is still vivid. It’s a reason why this quote is filled with so much wisdom: “Choose your words carefully. Once they are spoken, they can only be forgiven, never forgotten.”
The real power of spoken words is why you must- regardless of where you are, what you’re experiencing, and what you’re going through – always choose to speak life. And you need to do so for yourself, others, and your situation. It takes the same amount of effort to speak a negatively, as it is to speak something positive.
Every single day, you can choose to speak life. When you choose to build someone up instead of pull him down with your words, you choose to speak life. When you decide to declare a hopeful future instead of piling on pity or magnifying a grim reality, you choose to speak life. When you take a deep breath instead of cursing yourself with a negative affirmation, you choose to speak life.
A compliment can brighten someone’s day. An encouragement can go a long way in giving someone hope and bringing him joy. An affirmation can lead you to once again believe in yourself and gain confidence.
The power of words is available to you. You need to use it to your advantage. It starts by making the right choice. Today, choose to speak life.