Strength in Words

Dear Ricki,

Words are strange. They mean nothing until they mean everything. We don’t think about the words we say until it’s too late – until they’ve harmed someone or ourselves. We try and communicate one thing but our intent and our impact miss each other by a mile.

Your strength comes in your words. 

You choose your words carefully because you understand words matter.

You understand words have different meanings to different people, so you make the effort to explain what you mean. To say what you mean, and mean what you say.

You ask for clarification when listening and offer it when speaking. 

Your strength comes in the way you recognize the power words hold.

Your words are never pretentious. You speak to be understood, not to be feared or emboldened.

Your words are kind. You choose words that uplift and inspire and engage those around you.

Your words are loving. You understand certain words matter to others and you use them often and with great care.

Your words are empathic. You understand there is always so much more to others’ stories and you deliberately choose your words in a way that demonstrates you are a safe space for those stories.

Your strength is in your words.

You certainly aren’t perfect. None of us are, after all. But you recognize you’ll never get it right every time, so you try your best. 

And when you fail?

You acknowledge. You accept. You thank. And you apologize if necessary.

You receive criticism for your words with grace, and also a grain of salt. Because not every opinion is worth listening to.

But you listen to those you have hurt. And you hear those you have hurt.

You use your words as a tool for good. 

When that tool is weaponized, you correct as quickly as possible.

And then you move forward, because there is no glory in reliving past shame. There is no glory in beating ourselves up. There is no glory in self-destruction.

Your words are your strength. Words matter SO MUCH. You see it. You live it. And you encourage others to choose their words with love and care and kindness.

Thank you for your strength in words.

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