A Few Words About Words

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” 

Rudyard Kipling  

My word for 2019 is awareness.

It took some time for me to narrow down my word choices.

Initially I thought aware was my word. It’s a great word but it’s an adjective. I can’t explain why but for some reason I did not want my guiding word to be an adjective. To me, an adjective is not a thing–it’s a word that describes a person, place, or thing. For this year I need a thing–a noun–as my guiding word.

Already my awareness has helped me to slow down and gather a lot of information that will enable me to learn and grow. I am looking forward to sharing.

 “While they talked they remembered the years of their youth, and each thought of the other as he had been at another time.” 

John Williams, Stoner

Surprises can be such fun.

Yesterday an old childhood friend sent me a text to call her. By the time I was able to call her our time was limited. I needed to postpone our conversation until today and she agreed.

What a treat to talk with her today and hear about her family and some of the old friends we both grown up with back in Traer, Iowa. We talked about our lives as young adults and our lives now. I smiled as she talked because I heard her use words and phrases I’d not heard in a very long time. It was a wonderful gift.

Thank you, Carole Dalby, for taking me back in time and bringing me up to date with you and your family. You are one brave and incredibly strong woman. I look forward to talking with you again soon.

“Talk between women friends is always therapy…” 

Jayne Anne Phillips

I am…

B…simply being…


Thank you, Judith Weitzel Wilmink, for allowing me to use your picture of our hill country sunrise this morning. 

The Flip Side

Affirmations are our mental vitamins, providing the supplementary positive thoughts we need to balance the barrage of negative events and thoughts we experience daily.” 

Tia Walker, The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love

I talked about the power of words yesterday, giving examples from my life. Bringing these stories back is difficult at times–

We all have stories in our past that caused us pain. I’ve worked hard to dodge my stories for most of my life. I buried them, thinking they’d dissolve over time and just fade away. For me, once my mind was free to focus on me instead of my career, those memories stirred. I no longer had my work buffers in place. The rumblings of those long dormant memories grew stronger, bolder, and more persistent. They’ve refused to quiet.

My heart told me I was ready to search for the real me. My teachers began to appear in forms of old friends, articles, and books. I knew it was time for me to share the more difficult stories. I needed to do that so I could let them go–flip things around so I was using them to move forward instead of them using me to pull me back.

I share to give hope to those who are experiencing or have had similar struggles. I hope my words give insight to those who recognize some of their own behaviors. We are here on this journey together to support each other–easing the rough spots while sharing our experiences and knowledge.

“You are here, alive and awake and for whatever reasons you have fought your battles, it’s time to start focusing on what strengths pulled you up when the entire world had knocked you down. 

That’s where the virtue in self grows.” 

Nikki Rowe

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.


Again, I am privileged to have another amazing photographer willing to share his talent with me. Thank you, Brian Gustafson, for allowing me to use your photo with my blog post today. It is a visual image of what my inner turmoil feels like at times. You can view more of Brian’s work by following the link below: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/briangustafson.html

 Please note, no re-use of this photo without permission from the photographer.




Magic Words

“Silly words cause trills 

because they’re ludicrous and funny.

Happy words paint endless smiles

and swallow troubles whole.

Thoughtful words are thus

because they make the day feel sunny.

But hurtful words are such

that pierce the heart and weigh the soul.” 

Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway

There are times when I am haunted by the memory of words–simple, sarcastic, flippant combinations of words said without thought. Some were comments made when I was just a kid–others when I was older–when I thought I was an “adult.”

Some comments were in jest–a nonchalant observation that became a label I absorbed for the rest of my life because it comes from a person of power. One of those tapes replays like this:

Running to the door to greet my Dad as he comes home from work.

Me: “Dad, how was your work today? Do you want to see the picture I colored?”

Dad: “Oh. (Seconds pass as he turns the page this way and that way.) It looks like you color just like me–I never could stay in the lines.”

From that day on, I no longer liked to color. I tried to do adult coloring books–from the moment I picked up the colored pencil I feared not staying in the lines. My Dad’s approval was every thing to me. With one short comment, I believed I was not good enough. That feeling of unworthiness slowly oozed into other areas of my life.

Other comments were made by relatives trying to help me through the difficulties I was going through after my Mom died. I’d pulled back into myself. I did not understand how this could have really happened–moms do not die. Even though I was only ten years old–I was reminded I was the oldest. I needed to be strong for my sisters. I needed to set a good example. No one asked me how I was doing. My great-aunt who came to take care of Mom stayed to take care of us after Mom died. She told me she was worried about me. After awhile, I didn’t want to come home from school. The minute I walked through the door she’d ask me about my day. I’d shrug my shoulders and tell her it was okay. What else could I say? I didn’t think I could tell her what was really going on–I had to be strong. Eventually she tired of asking and I withdrew more. She began to just watch me–which felt like she didn’t trust me. We were both frustrated. An example of our conversations:

Aunt: ” I heard you talking with Ellen. Is everything okay?”

Me: “Ya. I’m okay.”

Aunt: “I heard you laughing. You sure you’re okay because it didn’t sound like your laugh. Were you forcing yourself to laugh?”

I took a minute to answer because she’d caught me off guard. Had she been eavesdropping on my conversations? Wow. She’d listened to me laugh? Had I forced my laugh? Did I remember how to laugh?

Me: “I think I need to take my hay fever medicine because my nose is all stuffy. That’s probably why my laugh sounds funny.”

Even today, unless I am surprised by something incredibly funny, I listen to  myself and wonder if whether my laugh is genuine or forced.

One of the most significant things said to me happened during the course of a very traumatic breakup. It had been a long and difficult time in our lives. We were young. We were both tired–tired of a lot of things. We’d both been hurt. There wasn’t much good about any of what was left. Our exchange of words remains a part of the baggage I carry today.

Me: “I am sorry. This is never going to work. It is time we both go our own way.”


We are standing in the kitchen I loved in the house on the corner that was so special to me. I was losing it–literally and figuratively. Eventually he walked closer to me, leaned in, and said:

Him: “Well, I guess you’re right. It’s over. I gotta tell you, though, just so you know. I never thought you were good enough for me anyway.”

Words–like arrows to the heart.

Words can’t be weighed on a scale but they burden the soul. Words can be forgiven but forgetting them is difficult if not impossible. The stain left behind from that wound bleeds through during times of stress and self-doubt.

Words are wicked weapons. Use them carefully.

“Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.” This is a lie. What we say matters. The unkind things we communicate can soil the best of relationships; even with the deepest of regrets…what lingers is a stain of hurt that may fade but will never truly go away. The wounding words we say are like feathers released in a harsh wind, once said; we will never get them back. ~Jason Versey” 

Jason Versey, A Walk with Prudence

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless you.


Thank you, Thinking Art, for allowing me to share the image from your post on your Facebook page. 





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