Last week I was lucky enough to get to listen to the inspirational Nick Barwick. Nick is a motivational speaker who came to a fostering meeting to share his experiences as a care leaver. His story is incredible, he has faced adversity, pain and suffering throughout his life but still found the strength and courage to achieve his dreams, he defied the odds and he overcame.
Nick is passionate about sharing his story, he wants the success stories of life to be shared. We need our children to have hope, that if they are struggling and finding life a struggle they can remember that where they are right now is not where they need to end. This is doubly important for all children within the looked after system, they especially need the reminder that there is Hope in this world.
I took an awful lot away with me after listening to Nick speak, but what has been twirling around in my head since I left the meeting was the impact of ‘words.’
Let me explain a little, as Nick was sharing his story he spoke about being told by some professional in his life that he would not achieve, academically, financially and emotionally, and how these words for a long time became a self fulfilling prophecy for him.
How the words spoken to him became the words he spoke to himself.
Words have power!
They can inspire but also they can destroy.
Hearing Nick’s story just hit home how important our words are,
How as Mother’s, as fathers, as teachers, carers, our words have an impact on hearts.
How as a friend, a wife, a sister I need to use my words wisely.
How often have we let words spoken to us bury deep in our hearts?
How what may have been a passing comment has be able to consume our minds.
Someone else’s opinion become our truth.
I know I can look back in my life and raise my hand numerous times for when words spoken in hate became my reality.
“You won’t pass it.”
“I wouldn’t even bother’
“You are not good enough”
“Who would love you?”
How I let these lines of letters sink deep into my heart like an anchor dropped into the ocean, dropping slowing until they find a place to settle and hold, hold on tight.
How I have allowed hurtful words to crawl under my skin until I believed them completely, burying under my skin into my blood to pump through my veins, straight to my heart.
Burrowing deep until I owed them as my truth.
Thankfully like Nick I had someone in my life who challenged me to question these words. To remind me that my future was mine to create.
That it was up to me to write my own story.
I’m still a work in progress, my story has many chapters left to write.
I’m still learning to throw away the words that hurt, to erase the words that are wrong and untrue.
To protect myself from words that do not inspire or encourage.
I’m creating my own vocabulary and as I do this I hope to create another for my children.
I want their story to be one of adventure, excitement and hope but what I want most of all is that the biggest chapter that they write will always be one filled with love.
I pray that story is one of knowing, knowing how loved they are.