We as human beings have many ways of communicating with each other…words, body language, facial expressions, actions, the way we dress, the way we walk, our overall presentation of ourselves to the world. So you see, there are many underlying reasons why I do the things I do. Getting dressed to feel good and present a positive image of myself to the world is important to me. It communicates that I have pride in myself, that I take care of myself so I can take care of the people in my life that need me. It communicates that I make an effort to participate in my life everyday and to actively contribute to the world.
But aside from our physical presentation to the world, it is our words, whether written or spoken, that often are the most powerful of our communication methods. They can cause as much harm and pain as any aggressive or violent action. Words can cause as much confusion in interpretation as any puzzling facial expression or complicated body language. They can degrade, insult, berate, and break a person down. I know this because I have broken people with my words and I have been destroyed by the words of others. I understand the power that is held within the confines of our human language.
But here is the magic of words….they also harness great power that can be used for good. Words can create joy and encourage peace. Words can change minds and belief systems. They can inspire, uplift, and empower. They can teach, advise, explain, and guide. Words can entertain, soothe, and heal.
Part of why I blog is because I am passionate about words. I have always been fascinated and intrigued by linguistics and language. I have always been amazed at the way some people can so effortlessly weave words together to create miraculous tales of hope and strength. How some can use words to make people laugh and have healed through this laughter. I have always admired those who always have just the right words to console and comfort a person in a time of need. Words have always affected me in a very powerful way.
I have had amazing therapists whom through talk therapy (words) gave me the tools I needed to find my way in this often cruel and brutal world. I have used journaling (words) as an outlet to release my pain and frustration. Since a very young age, reading (words) helped me find escape when I needed it most. And now blogging (words) is providing me with a creative outlet and a vehicle to reach out to people and offer them the positive, healing power of words.
And one thing I have learned in my 42 years is to mind my words. I do have to continually remind myself to do this. But I am a work in progress just like everyone else. I recently stumbled upon a quote that I jotted down in an old journal. It is from Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa, or, The History of Young Lady, published in 1748. I found it so appropriate for my blog that focuses on fashion and words, some 268 years later. “…for what are words but the body and dress of thought? And is not the mind indicated strongly by its outward dress?” Doesn’t that ring so true even now? So I like to deliver my words as an accurate reflection of my mind (just as I like to maintain my appearance as an accurate presentation of my all around health). I strive to be kind and sensitive to the struggles of others. I also want to do my part in uplifting and empowering people. And I always want to speak in truths. So I try really hard to always mind my words.
For example, there are certain ways in which I phrase things that probably go unnoticed by many. I am going to share them with you here because I think they are so very important. The way we choose to present our words can change what we are really meaning to communicate. Here are two examples…
When I offer a compliment on a person’s appearance or clothing, I will phrase it in such a way to mean that the person is always amazing and the fact they are wearing something is only enhancing the item they are wearing. I will not say that you look great in pink. To me, that means you look horrible when you wear another color! Rather, I will say pink looks great on you! Meaning, instead, that your fabulousness has enhanced the color pink! Another example, I won’t say that you look great in a particular outfit, but rather that the outfit looks great on you. Meaning that outfit was nothing special until special you chose it and added all of your specialness to it to make it great! Does this make sense? Words have power and tons of underlying meaning. And we need to be mindful of how we use them.
Another example…when it comes to mental health issues, I will never refer to a person as their illness (including myself). I will never say that I am Bipolar. I am NOT Bipolar. I have Bipolar Disorder. It is only a tiny little part of me. It does not define me entirely. I would never call a person Schizophrenic. Rather, I would say they have schizophrenia (if it even required mentioning). If a person has cancer, we don’t call them Cancer. If you have the flu, you don’t say, “I am Flu.” That would be ridiculous. We need to mind our words especially when discussing such a sensitive topic as illness. The way in which we phrase our words can change the meaning dramatically if you really consider what you are trying to say. I hope I am being clear!
So when you are speaking or writing or communicating with others, be mindful of what you say and the way in which you deliver it. It can make or break a person. And it can speak volumes about who you are! So, please, mind your words!
Tee Shirt: C/O Style Art ($24.99) Worn previously on my blog here.
Jeans: Gap Factory Destructed Legging Jeans in White (currently on sale for $28.99)
Shoes: Cato Fashions (from last year)
Scarf: A very fake Hermes scarf that I have had for about 10 years less than forever. I think I bought it from a street vendor in NYC years ago. But I did find this interesting post about How to Spot a Fake Hermes Scarf (although I knew mine was a fake already but I was just curious)
Do you find words as important as I do? Do you use your words for the good of others? How are you mindful of your words?
Keeping it honest on the edge,
Linking up with: These Fabulous Link Ups Where I Link Up