Powerful and ongoing, the impact of words continues to amaze me.
In 2005, I met a new friend who shared with me that at the end of every year she and two other friends would get together and share a word that each of them had chosen to be “their word” for the following year. Just one word. How their current word was playing out in their lives was also shared. My question was, How in the world do you choose one word? The answer was that most of the time, they simply chose a word that encapsulated what they wanted to see happen the following year. But sometimes a single word just kept popping into their brain at random times and resonated with them, so they would choose that one. My friend said it never failed, though, that at the end of each year when they met together to share, each of them had story after story of the very obvious ways their current words were operating… and had been all through the year. This intrigued me, so I decided to give it a try. Believing strongly in the power of prayer I decided to pray about what my word should be, then I simply paid attention, watched and listened for my word.
Since 2005 I have done this and been amazed at the power of this one little word. I have friends now with whom we have adopted this annual tradition. The last week of the year we meet and share our words, then watch over the next 12 months how they play out in each others’ lives. At the end of the year we have fun telling stories of how we have seen our word, and each other’s, unfold.
If one little word can have that much power, how much power are we releasing from the many words we speak every day? I recently heard someone say that sound never stops. They said it travels through the universe for infinity. I had to research that one because it just sounded too “out there.” The general consensus among scientists who study sound is that the sound itself will dull eventually to where it is below the threshold of hearing, but it travels at 767 miles per hour until that point. And even when it diminishes to where sound is not detected, it turns into heat energy. So I suppose it would be more accurate to say the energy from a sound wave never stops. And if that is the case, what sound and energy do we want to be releasing? Personally, I am stirred to pay closer attention to the words I speak each day. How sad to think that our hurtful words could stay in our world forever in some form. But how absolutely amazing it is to realize that our helpful, useful, impactful, wise and beautiful words can also hang around forever. I want to fill the world with beauty. And even as I write this word “beauty,” I am reminded of my very first word of the year – chosen in 2005 – beautify. Beautify. To make beautiful. How absolutely appropriate that I would use that word as I wrap up my thoughts here. The energy never stops.
What words…sound…energy… are you spreading?