Who would have thought the most powerful words in my life were introduced to me by the time I was five-years-old? I had no idea how it was the small words and simple statements which empowered me to have a better life as a child than in recent years. Following are the top ten of of my power statements lost over the years:
“I can do it!”
I could do “it” and anything I wanted to do without any limitations. With the mind of a child, I was strong, capable, clever, and confident. This meant that if I did something wrong two, three, or four times, I kept trying until I got it right. If I could have kept that level of self-assurance throughout my life, there is a good chance that I would only know joy at this time in my life.
This was sometimes part of the “I can do it” phase and phrase because even if somebody helped them, children will believe they were smart enough to ask for help and had the intelligence to say the words out loud. They will ask their family and friends without any shame or hesitation when they recognize where they can use assistance. What age did I stop asking for help and why? Did I think if I asked for help that I would be considered weak by others?
“Can I help you?” / “Can I do that?”
Amazing how children can ask for help without a sense of doubt and are eager to help others even if nobody asked for help. Children see a person ‘working’ and something inside tells them that ‘I can do that for them.’ Think about life now and how much nicer it could be to have a partner for cleaning, cooking, yard work, painting, shopping, and so on and so on.
“You hurt my feelings.”
This sentence was a sure way to let somebody know that they had made me sad or mad when they said or did something which I had considered to be mean, inconsiderate, or just thoughtless. The magic took place when we had an emotion which made us uncomfortable and, with pure honesty, told the world and the healing would begin. There was no holding in a bad feeling, we stood up for ourselves. When did my feelings lose their value and their messages ignored? This might even have saved a few relationships if I had addressed my emotions early on, not ignored them, or kept them hidden beneath the surface simmering away.
These were words that came so easy to me as a child. Along the way, they lost their value. Maybe because as life went on, there were too many times those words were said by me or said to me by others. For a while, I believed they were empty words, and yet, when I was hurt by somebody I cared for, those two words would have offered me much needed healing.
This is another powerful statement that children knew could save them from monsters under the bed to a doctor visit. If I had remembered when I told somebody close to me that I was afraid how they would have helped, comforted, or supported and know I was not alone. I imagine how different my life would have been. My family and friends may have realized how frightened I had become after losing my father, afraid of being lonely when my son left for college with no family nearby, or the fears created from been laid off and what my next steps would be. Instead, I often said, “I’m okay. I’m okay.” I was not okay.
One of the first words that children learn is to say is to ‘please.’ This magic word gave us whatever it was that we wanted. Today, this word still has the same magic. It can open the door to whatever we want, almost a key to our compassion or generosity.
That’s right after the “say please”, came the “say thank you.” Maybe we first thought we would get something else we wanted, and once we saw the appreciation on another person’s face, we learned the value of gratitude. Thank you made other people smile. Another word that still has a great value all these years later.
“Kiss me.” / “Hug me.”
Children know what a kiss or hug means. These words of affection result in a physical security expressing love, friendship, and worthiness. Kisses and hugs have not lost their worth. Maybe if I had said it more, I would have remembered how worthy I was of affection and love during the lonelier times in life.
“I am (good/smart/nice…)
The first two words of the sentences we learned in school began with “I am…” We may have thought they were easy to spell and say. Lucky for me, those are two words that I have embraced recognizing how they power-up the words that follow them. Little did I know how brilliant I was at five-years-old.
When I realized how some of these statements would have made my life better, I want to never forget them in the future. This way, the next time I need help or affection, or when I can show gratitude or offer a helping hand, I will thank the ‘little me’ inside for coming out to remind me how such little words can offer love, hope, and joy to me and those around me. I was a smart little one, wasn’t I?