A friend told me yesterday that her new year’s resolution is not to complain about the weather. It’s not easy to do in Luxembourg in Winter. The days have been grey and gloomy the last few weeks, the sun only breaking through the clouds for about half an hour. It rains, it drizzles, and the clouds hang low. It’s a depressing sight, honestly, and hard to keep thinking light-filled thoughts when it’s so miserable outside.
I’m thinking about her resolution again this afternoon and feeling very sure she’s on to something. Because I’m learning that words have power. Words are not just neutral tools of communication, they carry weight. Sentences that people say to us or about us can stay with us – for better or worse – for years.
And so, I think, sitting here in the growing dark, rivulets of rain running down the window, why not use my words to chase the light? Why not join my friend and declare no more complaining. None. Take all the negative words about the darkness, the gloom, the damp, out of my vocabulary. Refuse to utter them, begin to refuse to think them. And perhaps if I refuse to speak it, it’s power over my emotions will dwindle.
If I am no longer allowed to say how depressing the weather is, maybe I’ll stop thinking of how depressing it is, I’ll stop believing it is depressing.
But you can’t remove something without adding something. The vacuum must be filled. And so with what? With words that bring light and bring positivity. What if every time I was tempted to complain about the darkness, I looked for something good to notice, to compliment, to celebrate?
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.