Create your own definitions

One of the gifts my mother gave me was instilling in me a love of reading. She didn’t care what we read — comic books, Little House on the Prairie, the back of a cereal box or, if you were off-center like my brother, the Young Persons Encyclopedia. Mom just wanted us to read. And the more I read, the more I liked words. And the more I liked words, the more I liked things like dictionaries and thesauruses. In fact, I still have two different dictionaries on my bookshelf: The American Heritage Dictionary and The Webster New World Dictionary (second edition thank you very much).

But as much as I love words and their meanings, one thing that wisdom brings is that even the dictionary doesn’t contain definitive answers. We create the meanings of words in our own lives by what we think and feel about them. We can look up the definition of “beauty”  and “strength” and “courage” in the dictionary. But what matters most is what we tell ourselves they mean. And the most powerful definitions are the ones we tell ourselves when no one else is listening.

How do you define beauty and strength and courage to yourself? Change the way you look at those words (or others which are more authentic to you) and the way you see yourself may begin to shift in amazing and exciting ways.

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