By Nancy Virden (c)2021
Change your words
At sixteen, I traveled to Europe with a choir representing Ohio. Most of the trip was lovely; we stayed in local homes and sang in some of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world.
My friend Rhonda and I were running around the Rykes Museum in Amsterdam when we saw a sign with foreign words and an arrow pointing down a long empty hallway. We followed it expecting something grand at the end, only to wind up in the middle of the men’s room. A red-faced gentleman started shouting at us, but in that context, any language barrier was overcome and we hightailed it out of there!
This silly story applies to hope because when we are at a loss to understand the power words have, they can lead us to emotions and experiences we do not want. Choosing to use the language of hope aids in our quest for hope simply by allowing it to be an option.
Some helpful exchanges I make while fighting illness and Covid this week and longer, bring me grace for myself and permission to be human. Instead of “I’m useless” I think, “I am ill right now. I’ll be back to my old self.” Other fruitful changes in how we speak can feed hope.
- should to could
- can’t to it will be difficult
- never to unlikely
- must to have an option
- always to often or sometimes
- I’m useless to I’m fragile right now
- I cannot take it anymore to This too will pass
- Taking giant leaps like hopeless to hopeful may not always reflect the truth. Instead, changing hopeless to challenged may be more realistic.
- Using “Yes, and” statements validates us and allows for hope as supposed to “Yes, but” statements which negate any good. For example, “Did you get your work done?” “Yes, but tomorrow morning I have to present my proposal to the board,” versus, “Did you get your work done?” “Yes, and tomorrow I will present the proposal.”
In your strides toward gaining and maintaining a mindset of hope, changing how you speak to and about yourself cannot be emphasized enough. -COMMENTS WELCOME
Today’s Helpful Word
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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