“In every encounter, we either give life or we drain it, there are no neutral exchanges.”-Brennan Manning
Every time we encounter someone, we change both their life and our own. Words matter. Words have power. The words we say, and how we say them, can either serve to uplift another person or bring them down. Every interaction becomes a part of our being, impacting the way we handle the next. This is not a new realization to most people. It’s common sense, really.
The literal concept of giving or draining life; however, is novel to me. My heart aches at the remembrance of words said in anger or frustration, the short-tempered or heated exchanges with the people I care about the most. Even recollection of nonchalant, distracted conversations brings remorse.
When I am stressed, I have a tendency to speak sharply. The fight or flight impulse kicks in and I fight against the fear. The words don’t always come out the way they are meant. I sound angry when I am not, at least not angry at the receiver of my burst of words.
I try to explain, but those words often do little but further the communication imbalance. A gentle touch and shared silence can bridge the verbiage. I hope heartfelt apologies stop the drainage of spirit.
A few nice words can go a long way in recharging another person. Building others up is imperative. People thrive on honest encouragement and support. Kind words can inspire a child, perk up an ailing elder and forge bonds with friends and family.
I strive to interact freely while choosing my words wisely. Many times, I struggle to keep unkind words to myself. I aim to speak kind words that are true. I want the impact of my words to be positive.
My words matter. Your words matter. Let’s be kind.