Day 98 (Ninety-eight) of 365 days

I believe in speaking kind words, its simple really, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. I believe words can hurt or heal, encourage or discourage and inspire or hinder.

There are certain times in our lives where words may affect us more than other times. I believe in speaking kindly to the person at the grocery store stocking up my groceries or to the stranger I pass in the street because I just may be the only person to say anything nice to them that day or maybe the only person to say anything to them at all. It makes me feel good to know that I may make their day just by saying something nice.

Have you ever been having a bad day when someone smiled at you, complimented you unexpectedly, or held a door open for you? These small acts can, and often do, turn your whole day around. Kindnesses such as these offer connection and warmth and remind us all we are in this thing called life, replete with all its wonder and heartache, together.

It seems like such a simple thing—to notice something nice about another person and to speak it to them. However, when we are on the receiving end of a compliment, it doesn’t feel like a small, insignificant gesture. Sharing kind words in tiny moments can bring sweetness and connection. Healing words offer an inoculation of hope and link us together.

Affirming words should not be reserved solely for those closest to us. Countless friendships have begun when one stranger took a risk and crossed the bridge to another stranger through the vehicle of kind words. Many of us think of positive words to share, but we feel reticent to speak them.

We talk ourselves out of taking the risk to speak what we are feeling for fear that it may seem too forward, could be misconstrued, or be perceived as awkwardly out of place. But even when the giving and receiving of kind words occurs between two people who may never meet again, it makes the world a softer and safer place for both. It feels good. Both people are lifted and can now go forward to touch the world more gently because of this positive exchange.

Words Can Bless. Words Can Curse. They can bring us together, or they can create walls (and worse) between us. Our own self-talk, which becomes so reflexive that we do not realize we are doing it, is often fraught with blistering self-criticism and recrimination. We would never speak so unkindly to another person in this manner. This negative self-talk erodes our self-esteem creating self-defeating behaviors. The habit of using words of affirmation and kindness begins with our self-practice. As we internalize this healing habit, we can gain confidence in our ability to connect with others through words of compassion.

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