the power of words

Do you remember what your word was for last year?

Mine was FAITH.

When I chose it at the beginning of  2011 I didn't realize how significant this word would be as the year unfolded. I don't think I have settled on my word for this year. But I recently heard something that I thought was very inspiring and I just wanted to share it with you.

I have been watching a lot of Anderson Cooper's new talk show. He seems to always have interesting topics and yes I'll admit I think he's sort of cute. Last week his guest was designer and artist Gloria Vanderbilt who I didn't realize, is also his mom.

It was a great show and I became really captivated by this 87 year old woman who led and continues to lead such a fascinating life. She is of course part of the great Vanderbilt dynasty, so she lived a life of privilege and wealth. But she has also experienced great lose and tragedy from the time she was a little girl.

What's amazing is that she continues to have a positive outlook on life and still believes her next great love is just around the corner. Near the end of the show she shared her favorite saying which is

"We are not put on this earth
to see through each other.
We are put on this earth
to see each other through."

This really touched me and I thought what a wonderful thing it would be if we could all remind ourselves of this every now and then. I know I am guilty of becoming too caught up in my own personal drama that I sometimes have a hard time seeing beyond my own myopic world. Especially in situations where I feel someone's thoughtlessness caused me pain. It's very easy for me to let tunnel vision set in.

But if I can step away from my emotions and see that there is always a lesson to be learned from all of my experiences, I think I might be able to appreciate the reason why different people are put into my life. From the most casual of friends (and adversaries) to the person I chose to marry.

It's so easy for us to see right through another person in a way that we don't fully appreciate the value of our relationship with them no matter how small or how brief. And instead of focusing so much on how someone can't always meet our needs, maybe we can focus on helping that person get through whatever challenges they might be having. I know this often takes much more effort but I've learned that being stuck in a negative place only kills my spirit in the end.

I'm not sure if this is exactly what Gloria Vanderbilt meant but that's what it means to me and it's something I want to remember as I try to strengthen the relationships in my life. Perspective is sometimes all it takes to turn any situation around.

Thank you Gloria for the gift of these words.

See Gloria Vanderbilt's works of art here.

Have you decided on your word for 2012?
Do you have a favorite quote to inspire you this year?

Hope you're having a beautiful week so far.


earthen-magic said...


Ashling said...

I'm intrigued by this. How did you choose 'faith'? Do you seek inspiration, draw tarot cards, open a book to a random page? Do you pray to Whomever and ask that the word be made clear? It's a great idea...will be curious to see what word you choose (or what word chooses you).

Celia said...

I couldn't decide on just one this year my words for the year are Release and Truth. My word last year was Believe and I was really surprised to see how it unfolded for me through the was my first time choosing a word (well...the words seem to choose me) and I really liked it. I love the picture of the jar with words in it....I think I might start one of those for myself!

A Magical Whimsy said...

This is a very beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your insight into what Gloria V. said about 'seeing people through'. Very profound. It puts a great calm in my soul. I think my word this year would be 'Goals to keep'. I have been more inspired at the beginning of this year than I have been in the last few years and that is good. Now to keep my goals! Wish me luck!
hugs from Central California

Ricki Treleaven said...

I love this post. My mother in law has a real funky Gloria Vanderbilt painting that is a highly stylized portrait of Queen Elizabeth I. It is really neat!

I think my word for 2012 needs to be fearless.

Thanks for sharing Gloria Vanderbilt's inspiring life and words with us.

Ricki Jill

Ivy said...

What a beautiful post this word for 2012 is BLOOM. And my fav quote is:

If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning. ~Catherine Aird me that quote just says it all! Happy New Year! xo

Marfi-topia said...

im a bit hesitant to choose a word, since it seems as though we are tested on that very word all year.
I think I will choose 'chocolate'
that seems pretty safe, lol.
But seriously....I'll have to think abut this a bit longer.
take care,

Unknown said...

I've never done some thing like this, but I really like the idea!

Also, if you wish to...

I’ve been tagged and now I am tagging you, feel free to choose whether you do this or not (obviously), but if you choose to do it, here is the link! c:


AutumnWind said...

What a lovely post! My word for 2012 is Transformation.

Anonymous said...

Very beautiful !! Thank you so much for sharing !!
Have a magical day.

Toriz said...

What a beautiful and thought provoking post!

I wasn't planning on choosing a word; I never had before, but the word chose me when I was trying to meditate on something else. My word is Hope.

Theresa MacNaughton said...

Hi Anna and Happy New Year to you. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and heartfelt post. I could relate to each and every word you wrote. My word for last year was grow and my word this year is gratitude. I have much to be thankful for - and I am going to try and share that as much as I can this year. :) Stay well, dear friend. xox

Linda said...

Very inspiring post Anna. My word for the new year is "forward" we must always aim for this.

Thank you for sharing.

Kathy said...

What a lovely blog, I am so happy I stopped by. Wonderful story about Gloria gives us something to ponder. What word? I feel very challenged to be more creative and inspiring this year. We get so busy in everyday life sometimes I miss just the right thing that was meant to inspire me. I will settle on create and inspire.
Have a blessed evening. Kathy

Anonymous said...

Life is such a circle of love. We nurture ourselves to build strength to nurture others. We nurture others to build strength to nurture ourselves. We are all tender, fragile, strong and powerful. Thank goodness we do have each other. Hugs to you sweetie.

Anonymous said...

A word to live by? What a great idea and motivational post. I will have to mull it over but I think I need a word too. Thank you for sharing, Anna, and TAG you're it!

Brianne said...

Hi, Anna. I guess I chose Gypsy for my "word" of the year. I wrote a post a few days ago explaining this. I chose this year as my "Year of the Gypsy." Gypsy is a wanderer, an explorer, an adventurer. And, although I tend to be a nester in my physical realm, I took on Gypsy in my mental, my artistic realm for this year. It is how I will address my cooking; my gardening; my thrifting; my art; my store set-up, all. Hmmm. Gypsy led me to leaving comments with you. Peace.

Leanne said...

I'm so glad to find you here . . . and to tell you that I am proud of you, and that while you haven't been "creating" in this space, your commitment to YOU and YOUR LIFE has been inspiring.

My word for 2012? Courage.

Courage to believe in me.

It's a big word. I hope I can do it.

Anonymous said...

Anna, I've been mulling over your post trying to pick just one word to focus my energies on and I can't do it! So your words have inspired me to choose weekly words. My first post is here:
Thank you for sharing. Anna, you are truly inspirational!