17 Words

wordsI know I have shared before that words are very powerful for me. Words have the ability to communicate an idea or thought in a simple arrangement of letters – and some days, words are the “answer” for me. Let me explain…

Several years ago, during my first Weight Watchers journey, our WW group leader, Mary, shared the story of some heroic historical figure, like Winston Churchill or Teddy Roosevelt (I’m not totally sure who the figure was – my memory is so bad!), who admitted that at times he had been unsure of what to do. Unsure of the next action to take, afraid to move ahead. And that when this person had become frozen in those moments, he took out a list of seventeen words and read them, to see which one “spoke” to him. Mary shared that this much-admired fellow was never let down by “The List” and had always received much inspiration and motivation from these very powerful words. Of course, at the time Mary was inspiring us all to stick with our weight loss efforts and keep going to release the “thin, healthy us” that we each held captive inside. At the time, it worked. And I was always thankful for “the words.”

Mary gave each of us a list of the seventeen words, and I have kept mine safe in my wallet for more than a decade.  I have referred to that list many, many times…

dictionarySee, the words DO speak to me. It is as if the entire volume of human language has been condensed into the seventeen words that “matter.” In some of my own most challenging and unsure moments, I have cracked open my wallet, pulled out that tiny slip of paper and – usually – read the words aloud. Without fail, one of them has always spoken to me, and let me know what to do next. Here are the words:


I won’t lie, it takes faith – a word not ON the list – to accept and acknowledge the power of these words but they have never failed me yet.

I pulled the list out again today; I have some things “buzzing around” in my head and felt I needed the list to help me see clearly. The word that jumped off the paper at me?

believe1BELIEVE. This is what I feel The Universe is asking me to do at this moment, to believe, and so I will. That word answered every question I had today, so I do “believe” in the power of words. And The List. I hope these can maybe help each of you, too…

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