Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What words uplift you?

"Here's what my love affair with quotations has taught me; the more you focus on words that uplift you, the more you embody the idea contained in those words" - Oprah.
When asked what words uplift me I couldn't answer right away. I had to think about it, I also asked others for uplifting words. Here are a couple of my favorites:
“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.” - unknown
"Be yourself...everyone else is already taken!" - Oscar Wilde

Of course I could spend time searching out my own favorite quotes, but a copy of other's words doesn't seem like much of my own blog. I think I'd rather consider what types of words and sentiment inspire me. Because to be honest, most inspiring words I find come from the most curious of places. Quiet conversations you may not have even been meant to hear. Or listening to someone else's story of a burden that makes you realize that pain can also be encouraging if you listen to what others do to over come it.
So here we are at words uplift me. Words spoken of courage. I really do like the quote above. Understanding that courage doesn't have to be facing the dragon,  but being willing to slowly sneak up and feed it, making it your friend, is so much harder and takes much longer. Continuing is courage, not fighting and winning.
Words about liking who you are and LEARNING who you are. I spent many years being told to like myself, but it wasn't until I started to dig and read about how to be a happier person that I began to realize I had to figure out who I was before I could decide I liked who I was. And truly I think it's okay not to like all of it. There are things about me that I don't like and that I can change. That being true I'm sure I have an obligation to myself to do so. I guess I would say that I like words that encourage me to like who I am becoming and that push me to keep becoming. Never stop evolving. I think possibly liking who you are at present too much is a bit of a cop out. It allows you to stop growing.
And I am very often uplifted by people's struggles. Probably more than anything else. A famous person can say something brilliant and profound, but when you live in the limelight and have everything in front of you it's easy to say positive things. I am uplifted by those that have been knocked down over and over and stand up to tell you about it. Not for sympathy but to share how they lived and survived and how they want to help you do the same. Or along the same lines of what I said before about courage, the person who's struggles you hear of just rather matter of factly. Not praise that they even made it through, just the way life is and how they plan to continue to live. So truly, I think I am more inspired by actions than I am words at all. Maya Angelou said "you can tall a lot about a person by the way he/she handles three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights." Sometimes words are just words. Behavior is inspiring.
How I watch someone speak to a child, or pet a dog. How someone speaks to me and when, not what they say. The faithful good morning that I get every morning inspires me to keep going. Watching someone stop to open the door for a women with a baby in a car seat and two in tow, that's inspiring. The person that says hello with a smile to the not so clean man on the street corner, that is inspiring.
I am not saying words don't teach and don't help us get to these places. I just believe how we use these words in everyday life mean so much more.
I can read and research and study. And words about kindness, and learning what contentment should be can help teach me how to live. I appreciate these words being put down on paper. Sometimes I truly need them to remind me of the kind of person I want to be. But to say someone has inspired me it is how they spoke to me, when they noticed that I needed a kind or teaching word, these are the times that I will remember who and what made me try to become the best person I could be. True inspiration comes from our parents, our teacher, preachers, bosses, and friends. Even sometimes just strangers that pass you on the street. I think I am most inspired by these people as I watch the world that is closest around me and can thankfully say that I can still see kindness most everyday.