Articles for August 2013

I Heart Words

wholehearted sunflowerI’ve always enjoyed words. I can remember learning the words ‘spontaneous’ and ‘perpetual’ in the 3rd grade and thinking an entirely new world had opened up to me. I was mesmerized with the sound and feel of words, and energized by the beauty of expression. I was that kid in school who loved vocabulary assignments! More words? YES!

I was also the kid that spent her summer in the public library reading every biography I could get my hands on. I read about presidents and inventors and scientists. I felt at home with those folks – as if I had known them all along.

Undoubtedly my love affair with words was kindled by my Dad’s preaching and writing. As I have written in earlier posts, he is a wordsmith. Some of my favorite memories as a kid – and many of my most poignant moments throughout life feature the soundtrack of Daddy’s words.

So it should come as no surprise that I continue to be drawn to certain words and phrases and concepts. I enjoy quotes. I like art that incorporates meaningful words and phrases. And I enjoy sharing those ideas with others.

Currently one of my favorite words is ‘wholehearted.’ In describing what it means to live a wholehearted life, Bren√© Brown writes, “Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”

I want that! I want to be brave and wholehearted! I visited my own therapist last week for the first time in a long while. As we talked, I laughed and said to her, “The more I like myself, the more I seem to like everyone else around me.” I fought it long and hard, but I’ve come to discover if I want to enjoy the gift of life, I must begin with enjoying the gift of who I am. I have to love me with my whole heart before I can truly love others deeply – and before I can allow myself to be loved.

Unfortunately if we’re not paying close attention, life gets in the way. There are messages virtually everywhere that want us to believe we are not good enough. It doesn’t take long at all for those messages to soak in and become the messages we tell ourselves.

Fortunately we are at choice! We absolutely choose our beliefs. We choose our actions. We choose our behaviors. We choose our moods. Our thoughts. Our outcomes. We choose what we watch and read and listen to. We choose our perspective. We don’t always get to choose our circumstances. Life definitely happens. What we do with what happens to us – who we choose to be as life happens – and the words we choose to describe those happenings – make all the difference in the world.

Choose wisely. Choose wholeheartedly. Choose.

With my whole heart,