"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham


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Photo: D. Paul Graham

Monday 5 Things…..Two Words…..

A few weeks ago, I overheard a couple arguing downtown. They were intense, aggressive, and neither listening to what the other was saying. Then it happened. He pointed his finger at her and screamed two words. You can imagine what those words were; the first began with “f”…, followed by heavy emphasis on the word “you”. She looked deeply wounded like he had never said those words before. She walked away; he walked in the other direction. I wondered if he later regretted yelling those two words at her. I wondered if they were able to settle their differences or if I, and the others on the sidewalk, had witnessed the end of a relationship. I have spent the last couple of weeks thinking once again about the power of words. So much so that today’s M5T looks at words that uplift rather than destroy.

1. Thank you

If you are the thanker or the thankee, expressing gratitude by simply saying thank you is likely bigger than you realize. By saying thank you, you recognize someone else, and you will, more often than not, make their day. Saying thank you highlights actions, shows appreciation, and creates an emotionally positive state -- feel good hormones if you will -- for both sides. Saying thank you makes the thanker more aware of what people are doing around them, and for the thankee will reinforce the importance of what they have done.

2. Love you

If you are going to say this, mean it; don’t let these words become a habit or a simple answer. Genuinely saying I love you is vulnerability, affirmation and optimism. You likely have said this to someone close to you, but when is the last time that you said this to yourself… and believed it? It takes work to keep the romantic side of these two words and go beyond a Hallmark card. Saying I love you to a friend can help them realize the importance they hold in your life. Support these two simple yet complex words with actions. Saying I love you can fill your soul, lift your spirit and warm your heart. Those two words can make you want to be a better person, and can make changes not only in your life, but to the person you say them to.

3. Miss you

These two words can often bring about mixed feelings of longing and melancholy. How often have you told a friend or lover not only that that you miss them, but why you miss them? That you miss their smile, their laugh, their touch? That you miss seeing them, sharing meals, or just simply hanging out and being with them? That you miss working with them, being challenged by them, debating life and sharing dreams with them?

4. Forgive me

It’s never easy to apologize; to say I’m sorry. Of the five things today, these may be the two most potent words. Those two words can be a gateway to grace, giving the hurt person a chance to restore their dignity, to forgive and to heal. They are not words of weakness. Rather, because they can be so hard to say, they are actually words of strength realized from failures, life lessons, and transgressions against others. They can put a stop to negative thoughts and behavior by both people. They show growth and maturity in choosing trying to repair a relationship over one’s ego or pride. They are vulnerable and powerful. They are two words that can open communication and give the other person a chance to extend forgiveness. They can dissolve guilt, allowing you to move on in life. They can diffuse anger and withdrawal and can be an antidote to toxic thinking.

5. Unquestioned confidence

Not so much spoken words to others, but two words that are important to our state of mind, with ourselves and with our relationships. They allow us to love boldly, without fear or constraint. Unquestioned confidence is a cornerstone to our faith, morals, and ethics. These two words define the path we choose for our lives and who we spend our life with. Unquestioned confidence is a mindset of growth that is cultivated by belief in ourselves, and certainty and trust we have in the most important people in our lives. These words, when we believe them, can be the difference between giving up and moving forward with our dreams. These two words foster inner peace, self-assurance and a healthy-dependence in others. Unquestioned confidence nourishes the poise to make difficult decisions, and reduces the chatter of negative self-talk and the pessimism of the world around us.

Here’s to a week of carefully chosen words.

© 2018 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com . Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com