One of the things I love about photography is the fact that one picture can evoke such heartfelt, raw, honest emotion — without saying a word.
Generally speaking, I firmly believe that actions speak louder than words.
But, too often in our busy lives, we forget that sometimes people need to hear the words. It isn’t always enough to ‘know’ that someone cares, that you did a good job on a project, that you had a great run/ride, or even that others shared your pain on a hard day. Sometimes, you need to hear it.
Sometimes, a long-overdue “Thank You” is all we need to feel appreciated. Asking the wait staff or cashier how they’re doing (and meaning it) can make them smile for the first time all day. And, saying “Please” is just the right thing to do.
I’ve been collecting quotes since high school. Every time I saw one, I would tuck it away into a shoe box alongside countless other fortune cookies, newspaper clippings, or scribbled-up napkins. (Thanks to technology, they are now neatly stored on my computer. Organized by topic, of course.)
It’s amazing to me how just hearing or reading a few words can completely change my outlook on the day, make me smile when I’m down, keep me focused on a goal, or remind me what really matters.
I am blessed to have several chatty people in my running group this season. One girl, in particular, is always upbeat and tells fantastic stories. When we hit the last mile of every long run, she always tells the same story. No matter how many times I’ve heard it before, I still look forward to it every run. It goes something like this . . .
When I was training for my first marathon, I had a terrible time at the end of our first 20-mile run. My coach saw that I was struggling and dropped back to help. He turned to me and said, ‘This is what the last mile of your marathon will feel like. Your legs will be trembling. You will see people walking, and you will want to join them. But, you will not stop running because you have trained for this. You are ready. And, you want it more than they do. You. Will. Not. Stop. When you approach that finish line – still running – you will speed up or slow down to make sure no one else is around you; you will move to the center of the road; and you will remove your sunglasses, throw up your victory arms, and smile. Because this is your marathon, and you earned it.’
Even writing them, I have goosebumps. These words have gotten me through many hard runs.
And, these words, which I keep posted on my bulletin board at work, have gotten me through some pretty tough days, too . . .
Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small people who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it.
What words have gotten you through tough times?
What words motivate you or give that extra boost when you need it?