- Are you a good person?
- Do you like your spouse?
- Are you a competent worker?
- Do you and your friends enjoy talking?
As you read these sentences, do you feel half asleep? Are these the words that you would use to describe yourself and your life? Then let’s talk!
Change Your Word Choices to Change Your Life
Every moment of every day you are practicing being you. From a brain standpoint, you are actively “doing” you. Changing how you express any one of the following things can change your life:
- Your beliefs
- Your posture and movement
- Your focus
- Your language
Each day, your word choices create a verbal funnel through which you label, react, integrate, think about, respond to and focus on everything in your life. In “emptying prayer”, you sit for a time simply taking in all of God’s creation without putting any words on anything. You may be on a warm summer beach or in the woods along a wandering stream watching a baby squirrel amble among the autumn leaves when suddenly a thought comes to mind, “What a mangy looking squirrel.”
You were feeling God’s presence in all you perceived until that simple verbal reference changed your perception of the squirrel, both now and forever, to become “that mangy squirrel”. You will react to memories of the squirrel and your time in the woods differently. You will integrate this experience for future reference and think differently when returning to that spot to see “that mangy squirrel”. From that point on you may even be on the lookout for mangy “flea bitten” squirrels on your next walk. (Yes, negativity grows over time!)
Word Choices in Your Morning Prayers
Let’s consider for a moment the people you include in your morning prayers. Let’s look at the words you chose to define the blessing of your marital relationship:
“Thank you, God, for the very nice person you provide for me to care about each day. Help us to share a little more of your love.”
There’s nothing really wrong with it this sentence except that is lacks any sign of passion or deep commitment to each other or anyone else. It’s much like reading the Bible but not applying it to your life. There’s seems to be very little engagement. The words you use to describe your wife can have the same effect as they did on the baby squirrel. In time, this approach to your wife in your morning prayer can have you label, react, integrate, think about, respond to and look for a “milk toast” relationship. Unfortunately, we often find what we are looking for!
Let’s try again… for my wife:
Thank you, my dear Lord and Savior, for the compassion and gentle kindness I always see in my lover’s eyes. Help me to see this and more - as I share with her the strong and thoughtful man you have made me - to love and cherish her, this day and forever.
As a part of your morning prayers, use words that create a phrase or sentence that digs deep to describe how you really feel and your spiritual intent to live this way. Say it like you mean it and when it no longer fits, change it until it feels right. Do this for your relationship with God, spouse, family, friends, colleagues, life interest partners and mentor each morning.