Words have power. We can use our words to build up or tear down.
Do we use our words to speak life to encourage and edify ourselves and others? Or, do our words bring death that crush our hopes and dreams?
GOING FROM NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE
Growing up in an Italian-American household and going to Catholic school were the breeding grounds for negative thinking. My grandmother’s favorite expression was, “the world is going to pots.” My mother’s brain probably went into a cramp if she had a positive thought. It’s probably because she worried about everything.
Thankfully, my father balanced them out. He took life in stride and always spoke encouraging words to me. Even though I took on many of my mother’s traits, somewhere deep inside, my father’s positive outlook on life took hold. I’ve always had that fighter instinct, no matter how beaten down or negative I felt.
There was one time a dear friend of mine said to me, “you’re like a dog who’s been kicked but always gets up.” I take that as a good thing.
The process that has turned my negative thinking positive has taken years. It all started to change when I started speaking words of life to myself. I take Proverbs 18:22 very seriously. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” I’ve literally had to bite my tongue when I was about to say something negative.
KEEPING DREAMS ALIVE
Since childhood, I have always loved the movies. Hence, my dream of being an actress. Movies have power. The stories. The words. I prefer to watch movies that have redeeming qualities about them. Movies that speak life.
One of my favorite movies is Finding Forrester starring Sean Connery and Rob Brown.
It is the story of how a reclusive writer, William Forrester, and a young teen from the ‘hood, Jamal, become friends. Forrester begrudgingly let’s Jamal into his life. He recognizes the writing gift in Jamal and teaches him how to express himself through words.
There are so many meaningful and touching moments in the film. The one that resonates with me the most is Forrester’s statement, “we walk away from our dreams afraid we may fail or worse that we may succeed.”
I’ve had to face that reality head on in my life. I believe that because I tended to have negative thinking, it impacted my ability to see myself succeeding. And, going after impossible dreams – well, it’s safer to daydream.
I didn’t realize that by burying my dreams, I was giving up on myself.
I needed to learn how to resurrect my dreams. That happened through life’s circumstances that forced my hand. I left corporate America after 22 years. I didn’t know what was next. I was at a crossroads. I realized if I kept doing the same thing, I was going to get the same results. Isn’t that the definition of insanity?
I decided I needed to break away from the stress of trying to figure things out. I needed to have some fun. I took a class on commercials for real people. I figured, I’m a real people. One thing led to another. As crazy as it was, I started to pursue acting. And, surprise! I came to a place where I didn’t want to just daydream. I wanted to live my dreams.
Living in the corporate world for so many years, I bought into the cultural norm of success. I believed success was burning the midnight oil, climbing the corporate ladder and making a lot money. I think these lines from a poem I’ve written called Journey best sums things up:
I finally found more. I found me. The words of life I’ve spoken over myself for years took hold. I now see life through a positive lens. I’ve stopped listening to well-meaning people who were really naysayers squashing my dream. I decided to embrace who I am.
I realize that success is being true to myself. With this comes joy. With this comes the ability to see life in all its color and glory.
With this, it’s made me aware…it’s never too late to go after your dreams.