Just as negative words can easily tear your spirit down, positive words have the power to lift you back up and push you forward through the toughest of times. If the words are visible and serve as a constant reminder, you will start to believe in yourself that you can overcome any obstacle or can start to view something in a more positive light.
Gabrielle Union’s character in the television show, Being Mary Jane, puts her life affirmations on post-it notes on her mirror to remind herself daily of her strength. When going through a difficult time, such as in the process of dealing with my health, it is easy to forget all of the positive aspects of life and the many more that still lay ahead. Writing your own affirmation and viewing it daily is like a repeated advertisement that is selling you a product that you are then motivated to purchase – you buy into it.
Taking a cue from the inspirational movie, Pay It Forward, I am instantly removed from any negative thoughts by doing something positive for someone else. I sometimes write notes of positive messages or quotes from poems in hopes of brightening someone’s day. I place them in books at used bookstores or write them on napkins in coffee shops. They may be deemed as trash and picked up in haste by an angry barista, but I’m choosing to believe in the former. Complimenting a coworker or a complete stranger can instantly enhance their mood and even spark a conversation. Leaving an extra large tip for a server, or calling or texting a friend just to let them know you’re thinking of them are all ways of paying it forward. On two separate occasions at the drive-thru line at Starbucks, the car ahead of me paid for my coffee and I continued the sequence by paying the bill for the car behind me. Help others to believe in themselves or simply spread positivity by starting your own form of paying it forward. Focusing energy on others is one of the easiest ways to feel joy and one of the most rewarding.
Surrounding yourself with positive words of encouragement is also like being your own personal cheerleader, cheering you on every step of the way. Words can be very powerful if you give them meaning. Once you take that step of believing in those words and yourself, it is such a strong feeling that it becomes difficult to not go anywhere but forward. I believe in having hope and in myself to persevere through chronic pain – there is no stopping me now.