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Sunday, June 22, 2014

"Words to live by"

I don't usually post my speeches, but in response to the groups request, here is today's message. I have had time to construct the speech  there may be a few additions or subtractions.

"Watch your thoughts; they become your words.  Watch your words; they become your actions. Watch your actions; they become your habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny." -Lao Tzu.  Many of us have heard this quote, but may not realize the magnitude of this very simple message.  I grew up from the persuasion that "Life and death are in the power of your tongue."  This proverb was instilled in me at a young age and puzzled me for a time.  At first mention, the literal declaration would cause one to tremble. But if we include both the literal and metaphorical we would unanimously agree that sometimes negative words spoken can adversely affect; dreams, reputations and relationships.

I was in my early 20's when heard Dr. Phil state that it takes several positive comments to counterbalance 1 negative comment spoken.  Many people don't  realize the power or the influence of their words and they will spread sometimes cruel or abrasive messages without reservation. When I heard Dr. Phil's message, I knew that I wanted to use my words as seeds that would produce positive fruit in the hearts of others.  Even Socrates stated: "Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. "  As a clinician, I sit in a seat where many of the major mental health disorders; Anxiety, Depression or Eating Disorders were developed out of the mouths of a messenger
carelessly speaking a soliloquy that would have been better left unspoken.  Damaging words are the number 1 killers of self esteem and confidence.  As a result, it requires sometimes several months or even years of treatment to unravel and reconstruct self perception.

Today,  I would like to  share with you what you can do if you experience negative words and encourage you to develop your on "words to live by" to help you counterbalance this experience when it happens. How many here today recalls a negative word spoken that you haven't been able to shake? The hands raised reflect the majority of the people in the room.  The reason why is, it is human nature to ruminate when we hear something negative... twisting in our minds the words that we did not want to hear over and over again.  This can 'weigh you down'.   In psychology,  we encourage a method called "thought stopping", where you intentionally mentally stop the negative thought and replace with solid beliefs that you know to be true.

The apostle Paul said it best when he stated that "the tongue has been considered to be one of the smallest one of our members and yet, it can cause the most harm." What are you speaking to yourself, or about others? There is a saying that "birds of a feather. flock together..." I can honestly say with conviction that none of my friends in my close intimate circle participates in gossip or contentious speaking because they are cognizant of the harm that it causes.  When we practice having our own positive 'words to live by',  we then have the capacity  to genuinely encourage others.  When we are kind to ourselves, the length of our kindness extends and reaches beyond ourselves and into the hearts and minds of those that need it most.  An old proverb states: "A word fitly spoken is like apples in a plate of silver." The colors and contrast are simply beautiful and 'just right'.  I believe in sharing words of encouragement,  it adds color to the world and warmth to the heart that  is willing to receive it.

"Watch your thoughts; they become your words.  Watch your words; they become your actions. Watch your actions; they become your habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny."  These are some of the words that I live by.  What are yours?   ~Fayola

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