“Words make worlds.”
I first learned this when I was in therapy for a brutal post-partum depression. My recovery was holistic; I used food, movement, connection and words to heal and move forward.
I discovered that the words I had been using to tell my story – of my past, the present, and my future – did not set me up for being well. They set me up to continue just as I was. Words like Damaged. Sick. Flawed. Hopeless. (Depression is a beast…)
I was asked by my healer to consider using different words. Words of my choosing, words which held for me even a glimpse of something different. That, he offered, would help to create a different world for me to live in. My thoughts consumed my world at the time and if I wanted to feel better, I needed a new language. It worked.
Much of what we take as fact is actually story – the story that we create and run in our minds. Once I considered the possibility that “Damaged. Sick. Hopeless. Flawed” was perhaps story and not fact, I created the space for something different. In my own mind my fate was no longer sealed. I didn’t need to change my past, change the world around me, or know my future. I only needed to change how I saw it. (And in the process, saw myself.)
What are your favorite words? Words you could live in? I love grace, gratitude, patience, calm, resilience, acceptance, choice, strength. It is easy for me to imagine how my day will go when I am living words such as those, rather than words such as right, wrong, bad, overwhelmed, hard, required, struggle…etc.
The world around us continues on as it will. The people in our life are who they are, being who they will be. Thankfully, I learned how we can shape and cultivate our well-being as we move through our moments and our days, starting with the simple practice of choosing our words.
Try this for a word today: intention. The possibilities are endless.