A Gift of Words

To my younger sister Taren. A gift of words.

Our ages this year will each be divisible by 9. The last time it was so, you were just entering the largest phase of your life. When it occurred once before that, you were just a child and I was unseasoned, ignorant, and fearful.

I write you on your birthday because I know of the significance of words to you. I am now, more than ever, increasingly keen to words’ grossly underestimated value and largely disrespected power. Sheer, unbounded power. Power to build. Power to shatter. Power to nourish the starving heart. Power to starve the most robust of souls.

Today as you begin the next year of life, I wish you well on your journey. Seek truth, life, and a future you are thrilled with. My encouragement is that you do not settle for what others’ words limit you to. If you hear words that are limiting, turn your ear to words that destroy those limits. If you hear words that are hurtful, turn your ear to words that bring joy. If you hear words that devalue your life, turn to words that build your value. Instantly. Immediately. Consistently.

Seek out sources of words that will help you to grow, that will stretch you to become more than you are, that will succeed in producing fruit in you that others have failed so miserably at. As a young seedling reaches for the light, the heat, the energy, set yourself toward the words that produce light, heat, energy. Do not settle for suppression, depression, or for what “is what it is”. That is not life.

Your days of waiting must end, but only you can end them. Your days of being “less than” must cease, but only you can become more. Your days of being anchored to hurts and scars of the past must be put to rest, but only you can bury them. Take your look back at the things of the past, turn away from them, and set your sight on what you want, looking far beyond what you have. Then resolve in your heart to move with unrelenting focus to far exceed whatever “they” have said you could never be.

Let these words move you from one year to the next in the direction of hope and dream. Let them serve as a spur in your side to drive you to the next step forward. Let them burn in your soul such that you cannot bear to live outside of your passion one more moment. Let them comfort you in knowing that everything you see, feel, and know to be your “reality” is one decision, one action, one desire from being anything you truly want it to be.

Let these words empower you to change your world. Life is far too short, and years pass far too quickly, to live anything less than thrilled to be living.

Your new year has just begun. Find the thrill of living and never allow the words of another to shake you from it again.