Submitted by Mel Ness, Volunteer
I am a words person. Always have been, always will be.
I am a literal, black and white, I-mean-what-I-say type of gal.
Words, to me, are not simply a form of communication, but a gift that I desperately need.
Words shape people’s impression of you.
Words can tear down or build up – it doesn’t take many to have a lasting impact.
Words can suck the life out of someone or breathe life right down into the soul, where one needs it most.
Words can build trust or deceive.
They are powerful.
The one thing that I love most about words is that they have the ability to stop us in our tracks and cause us to think and roll around in our brains an idea that we maybe wouldn’t have thought about had the words not been presented to us. Every so often, a few words can break through the muddle and simultaneously pierce us with conviction and encouragement that we didn’t even know we needed.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt
6 words. That’s it.
Read them again.
Can you relate?
We walk around and hear all of these messages. Words that catapult us into thinking that we’re not skinny enough, pretty enough, perfect enough, together enough, planned out enough, focused enough, good enough at X, ,Y, and Z, not quite wealthy enough…etc.
Not only do we receive these messages from the outside, we also give them to each other. We talk about how we need to lose x amount of weight, how badly we feel because _________ makes more money than we do, we talk about our flaws and how we’d feel so much better if we only could fix this part of our body, how we’re not as perfect as _______, or how we wish we were as good of a mother, sister, daughter, or friend as __________.
We end up tearing down others around us, even as we speak words only intended to be about ourselves.
What would happen if we began to be more intentional about the way in which we talk about ourselves?
How would this change the way the people around us think about who they are?
Maybe if we focused on building up the good instead of bringing out the flawed, other people might believe us when we tell them, “You are beautiful just the way you are.”
Comparison is sneaky.
It sneaks in and steals our joy because we are setting our inward struggles, secrets, and flaws up against the squeaky clean, perfect, and beautiful external images of another – all the while not seeing that they are human, too.
Comparison will always win – but only if we let it.