Words matter.

I write all the time. All. The. Time.

I write this blog. I write social media updates. I write proposals. I write e-mails. I write invoices. I write business plans. I write thank you notes and letters. I write journals. I write.

I also speak. A. Lot.

I speak kindly. I speak in anger. I speak words of praise. I speak words of pain. I speak words sweetly. I speak words of frustration. I speak.

In a season of my life where my words matter more than they ever have....I think about my words...A. Lot.

I weigh pros and cons before sending a text. I proofread proposals until my eyes cross. I get input. I often worry I get too much input. Too many "editors" of my words. I weigh even that out...Too. Much.

I have been hurt by words. I have hurt others with my words. For those two reasons, I think about words even more than I should....some say it is because I am writer. I say it is because I am tenderhearted. Too much so of the latter.

When I am weighing my words, I tend to go quiet. Hauntingly quiet. I fear the pain my words will reveal, or the pain my words will inflict. Someone has hurt me, or I have hurt someone...and I want to be tender and hit pause to gather my thoughts...let my heart catch up with my emotions.

I learned this skill from Mama Doretha. I can't tell you the times I have watched her sit and simmer in pain...weighing her words and her emotions. Words she wanted to say....but didn't. Words she wanted to say...and did. Weighed carefully so that they might be spoken with the love that was always behind them...even when she was in pain. I don't know that she was always like this...she has told me stories that reveal she wasn't always perfect at this (though she seems pretty perfect to most everyone I know that knows her) nonetheless it is clearly something she has spent time practicing...fine-tuning...grown into...so to speak. Of all of the lessons she taught me (both actively and by example) this would be in my top two. It is a skill that I have thought of a lot this past week...due to both things happening nationally and things happening in my own little world. I have paused a lot and thought what she would do and say...how she would advise me...and I have thought how I want to be just like her when I grow up...she really is a walking marvel of wisdom, grace, and love. I am not good enough to touch her hem in this regard (or any other for that matter), but because of her example....I have hit pause (wisely) this week and weighed my words...my responses. Bless her heart for taking the time to teach me.

I digress...

In a world that is moving way too fast, I am a woman moving way too fast. I am not alone.

My Christmas Wish this year is that the whole world will hit pause on their words. Pause.

Once said, e-mailed, texted...they cannot be taken back. They are out there. Words are power. Words are love. Words are weapons. Choose wisely. Pause until you can choose wisely.

Other tips...Don't promise things you cannot deliver. Don't say yes when you mean no. Don't say no when you mean yes. Mean what you say. Think before you speak.

I am taking this entire post to heart this Christmas. I have spent a lot of time in my life apologizing for hurting with my words. I have shed a lot of tears over words spoken to me that have cut deep. This talkaholic is hitting pause. I am going to spend a lot of time just breathing...listening...loving over the next few days. Celebrating a season, a birth, a love of one whom I do not deserve. Do. Not. Deserve. I want to change the world. I want to make a difference. I need to make sure my own house is in order. Taking stock now. Today.

I am not Catholic, but on my bucket list is for one year to go to Midnight Mass. When I was in college, I stayed up all night one year and watched the televised one from Rome. Just me sitting in the dark with the television on and my twinkle lights flickering everywhere. It was breathtaking. Breathtaking. There is something just SO right about sitting there immersed in the spirit of God and Christmas and Love. I don't necessarily understand all of the words...but it doesn't matter...because I "get" the emotion.

...and Hmmmm.....

Words reflect our heart.

...and there it is.

May this Christmas our words reflect the very best of our hearts. Let our hearts be cleansed by the beauty and innocence and gift of a season of reflection and gratitude. Let us operate always from a place of love. Whatever else we are...let us be those that love.

Merry Christmas!

With All My Heart....Heather

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)