Most of you have heard me speak or write about the power of words and how genuinely I believe in speaking life in and over people, where and whenever I can. I believe, wholeheartedly that words are powerful and they can change and even frame our lives.

We have seen examples of how words can create change, whether we look from the beginning of time, through the words in the bible where God spoke the world into existence or through countless others who have since shared about the power of words. If we took a moment, I think we could all reflect on our own lives and trace back to a time when words spoken to us have impacted and even changed us in ways that can seem inexplicable.

Of course, this can work both ways, positively and negatively. It’s important to remember that as quickly as positive, healthy words can build a person up or change their world, negative words can do the exact opposite thing. Negative words can take people off course, they can change the direction of their lives, and they can utterly destroy things.

How does it work? Is it the words themselves that have power? Or, is it the way the words that are spoken change the perspective of the reality people who hear them believe and live?

An example of a negative experience with words: A child loves playing the piano or singing, they get a lot of enjoyment out of it and have a lot of fun learning and exploring their musical talents. Then, one day, their teacher or parent tells them to be quiet, stop the banging or learn to play something well before they share it with the family. Believe it or not, these words can actually change a child and take them off course. I once heard a story about a young boy who was 11 years old. He loved music class at school and liked to sing. On one particular day, his music teacher told him that he sounded like a cat that was drowning. The little boy, who is now 55 has never sung again. In fact, it has only been recently that he has shared this experience and he recognises that the words his teacher spoke over him and to him were wrong and changed a lot about his life.

After hearing that story, it made me question what was happening in that teacher’s life that day? Had something happened that caused her to be a little irritated? Was she careless with her words because of something that was going on in her life? Did she not have an understanding of the power of words? No one will ever know, but stories like this remind me once again why it’s so important to have a culture of honour that lives through little miracles to place value on our little ones, the families in our community and beyond.

An example of a positive experience with words: Have you ever stood on the side of a sports field at a semi or grand-final when kids are playing their hearts out and supporting parents are cheering from the sidelines? The scene is one of the parents calling out their kids names, jumping out of the seats, arms raised and clapping hi-fives with their fellow cheering parents. It’s a sight that seemingly transcends everything. Culture, age, sport, ability and the list goes on.

The words that are commonly heard from the sidelines, ‘Come on, son. You’ve got this.’ ‘Well done, sweetheart, keep going, you’re playing well.’ ‘This is your game, go for it.’ So many words of encouragement during the game and then after, whether a win or a lose, parents and other fans are there for moral support whether it be continued hi-fives or arms around shoulders consoling one another.

I love the sports field and sports for that reason, we see barriers that are broken and people uniting as fellow cheer squad members or as parents with children.

Now, important to note that I’m not espousing that everyone become a cheerleader all the time, but I would like to encourage all of us to be mindful of our language.

What are the words we are speaking to one another? To our partners, to our children, to our friends, our colleagues? Are we part of the cheer squad on the side giving hi-fives and jumping out of our seats? Or, sadly, are we more often than not like the music teacher of that 11-year-old boy? We don’t mean to be like the teacher, but the weight of life, pressure and everything else feels heavy, and we crumble under the influence of it all and what we express, verbally, doesn’t line up with what we really want to say?

I’m asking all of us to take a good look at the words we use and make mindful decisions to use our words and language wisely.

Have a wonderful week and remember that you are deeply valued.

Much love,

Susanna #littlemiraclescommunity