The Power Of Words to Shape Us

I love words.  The way they captivate us, work their magic on us.

We all love words in one form or another.  We love books, poems and quotes. They inspire us, make us laugh, put life into perspective and so much more.  But, do words have the power to shape us into the person we grow up to be?  I want to share some of the words that have influenced me in my life.  I have chosen some thought provoking quotes, poems and a special blessing that I absolutely love.  I’ll start with some quotes.

I believe that quotes can have a major impact on us.

Some of them are so profound they stay with us throughout our lives.  People search the internet for those wise words that will either shift their perspective or give them that plain old kick up the butt they were looking for.  We turn to those we deem wiser than ourselves to help us find clarity through their words.  I marvel at the impact these quotes have on people every day around the world.  It is something that I find really inspiring.  The power of words is fascinating and exhilarating!  Wars and hearts have been won by words.

So, what are the quotes and poems that have made the greatest impact on me?  I’d love to share them with you! 

Let’s start with Gandhi:

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‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world.’ Mahatma Gandhi

This quote shakes me to my core.  It’s in your face with its raw and honest truth.  There is no sugar coating it, it is true and wise.  It is a bold truth to strive towards!  If every one of us lived by this motto the world would be a truly magnificent place.

If we acknowledge that we can make a difference if we change, what would you change?  Would you change the way you treat others?  Would you change the way you treat yourself?  We are so quick to judge the behaviour of others but most of us do not look closely at ourselves.  This is not just about pointing out our faults, there is no finger pointing here.  I want us to look at how we behave towards others, yes, but also how we treat ourselves.

The way we treat ourselves often extends negatively into the rest of our lives.  We are too hard on ourselves and our inner pain turns into outer anger.  Making a change for the good means first being honest with yourself about who you want to be in this life.  And if you aren’t where you want to be, be kind to yourself on your journey.  The power of the words in this quote are that they really make us think about where we can make a difference.  Let’s make an effort to be the best versions of ourselves!

My next quote is an oldy but a goody!

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‘Venus favours the bold.’ Ovid

This is one I heard when I was a young child and it appealed to me.  I’ve never been a bold person.  I am more of an introvert, and maybe that is why this seemed like a romantic idea to me.  It’s so theatrical, I can visualize a Greek Goddess taking her destiny into her own hands!  Very romantic indeed!  But what does it mean when we get right down to it?

There is another version of this quote that goes – ‘Fortune favours the bold’.  To me the keyword here is bold.  For those of us that are introverts just the word bold makes me uncomfortable but don’t be frightened by it.  The point here is to take control of your own life, in every way.  If you are looking for love, don’t wait for someone else.  If you are looking for success, don’t wait for someone else.  Drop in any life goal you can imagine and the theme is the same – you are master of your own destiny.  Whoop whoop!

Be bold in all things that speak to your true nature. 

Whether it’s Venus or Fortune, you only win if you try.  Don’t wait for tomorrow, tomorrow never comes.  Don’t you just love that!

Next up we go back to school days.  Do you remember those days in English class?  We had to sit through poetry lessons, often wondering what benefits we would take away from the lesson.  Sometimes it was so painful and you couldn’t wait for it to be over.

But, sometimes, you got to learn poems like this one.

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

 

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

 

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

 

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

 

To say I love this poem by Robert Frost would be an understatement.  Its message is clear, and powerful.  It is a perfect example of the power of words.  Never choose the expected or the ordinary in life.  Go where others fear to tread.  Be brave, trust your instincts, trust your inner guidance and you will be rewarded.  Yes!  Throw your arms up in the air, this is good stuff!  The paths we choose are massively important to how our lives turn out.  Never settle for the ordinary!

So, we have 2 out of 3 themes covering courage!  This has certainly been a common theme in my life in the last year.  I have discovered a courage I never knew I had.  Starting a new business, practicing resilience through all the uncertainty, keeping a positive mindset through all the fear in the world at the moment.  This all takes courage.  Do you think these words that have followed me through my life have helped me during this time?

The last on my list (for now!) is the Irish Blessing.  

‘May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

And rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.’

 

I find this deeply moving, filled with kindness and sincerity.  It is beautiful and heartfelt.  This is the way we should live our lives, wishing all good things to those around us.

Do you have a favourite you would like to share? Please leave a comment below with the quotes that have made an impact on your life.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this celebration of words (I’m already thinking about doing a follow up!) and hope you have to!  Do you agree with me that words have the power to shape you into the person you become?

Ps. Don’t forget to leave me a comment with your favourite quote!

Looking for similar inspirational reads?  Head over to Journaling: A Path to Self-Discovery 

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