Wednesday, December 12, 2012


There's more meandering than usual with this post, but bear with me. It'll all tie up into a pretty bow at the end. Or a bow, at least.

"You is kind. You is smart. You is important." Aibileen to Mae Mobley in Kathryn Stockett's The Help

As a self-centred adolescent, I directed all of my judgmental angst at my mother. "Stupidfatlazyslobofabitch," I sobbed into my pillow.

In late March 1990, my father died. In early June of the same year, I graduated with two degrees. The following day, I gave birth to my second child.

By fall of that year, I was a grief-stricken, miserable puddle.

I'd gone from the academic world to the realm of the stay-at-home mother. My body was soft from childbirth. Exhausted from dealing with a toddler and a colicky infant, it was all I could do to put the kids into a stroller for a walk; I lived in sweat pants. Poor Steve bore the brunt of my irritability.


I'd come full circle. In dark times, those words would weave through my mind, but lately a new string of words has come to the fore: fucketyfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck.

Nice, eh? The powerless little rant, of a toddler stomping her foot.

I know I'm not the first or loudest to say it, but I do believe that the words we say only to ourselves, the words that no one else hears, are disproportionately powerful.


Unspoken words insinuate themselves into our psyches. Kathryn Stockett knew this.

But we can't simply delete the old track; we need to over-write it. So the challenge, now, is to rewrite the mantra, the "sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of  'creating transformation'," according to Wikipedia.

I wonder what would happen if I took my favourite Bible verse and turned it into a mantra? 
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things." Philippians 4:8

I'll let you know how it goes. Or maybe you'll see for yourself.

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