It’s been said there are five love languages — the manner in which one communicates her feelings for another — and that each of us tend to gravitate towards one or another. There is an entire series of books dedicated to the subject, and a website as well, to help individuals determine their native “tongue.” I stumbled on the site earlier this year after hearing about it from other people and decided to take the quiz out of curiosity. I wasn’t all that surprised by the results. According to the quiz, my most prominent way of expressing love was through words of affirmation. Nothing builds me up or tears me down as quickly as what a person says to me, and in turn nothing conveys how I feel towards others so much as what comes out of my mouth.
I firmly believe there is no more powerful tool nor as deadly a weapon as the WORD. Give me sticks and stones (not really), but don’t cut me down with your mouth.
It was for this reason I decided early on that when I wrote the purpose would be to build and encourage others. Whether I’m writing fiction, an article, or just a letter, I try to ask myself: What is my purpose in writing? What is my motive?
It’s also the reason you’ll find inspirational quotes scattered around my office and apartment. They spur me on when I’m tired. The cheer me up when I’m ready to chuck my manuscript in a furnace five times hotter than Nebuchadnezzar’s. And they push me to try harder in areas I’m struggling with.
Some of the quotes are from books I’ve read or by writers I admire. But my favorites by far are the words of affirmation from friends and family.
I am blessed to have an amazing support group. No matter how many times I scrap a chapter, they’re rooting me on. I have people who I’ve barely (or never) met send notes thanking me for something they say I did that touched their lives in some way. I have encouragement cards that are several years old and they still bring tears to my eyes and send tingles up my arms when I re-read them. Words of affirmation are truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Today, and every day for that matter, I am thankful for every sincere word (even if it hurt to hear it at the time) that has been spoken or written to me. Each has made a difference, and each has helped shape the women I’ve become.