10 Words

20 Jul

A late-night post from Twitter friend and fellow blogger, Rob La Gesse got me thinking.

“My favorite word is “helpful”. What is yours?”

I picked “principled” off the cuff, but said I needed ten words. Rob tossed out a “blog it” challenge: What are your favorite 10 words and why? Here’s my list, and start thinking — because I want to hear yours.

  1. Principled – Have you figured out who you are, and what you believe, and will you stand by that even when it costs you? Even if your principles are different than mine, if they’re clear and you’re honest about them, I can respect you.
  2. Unafraid – I don’t mean willing to eat worms or play chicken with a freight train. That’s reckless and stupid. But have you silenced the fear that keeps you from reaching out in friendship? I adore people willing to say the thing everyone else is thinking. To quote  Marianne Williamson: “Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.”
  3. Gracious – Are you grateful for the people around you, aware that there is really no such thing as a self-made man or woman – that we are all a mosaic of the people who have touched our lives? Learning to applaud others without concern that they might eclipse you is the hallmark of a grownup.
  4. Welcoming – Are you open to both new people and new ideas? In middle school, it’s expected to hold your circle of friends so tightly that no one else gets in. Any older and it’s sad, and limiting.
  5. Flawed – People unaware of their own shortcoming are not only annoying, they are missing out on an opportunity to connect with others. Vulnerability leads to authentic friendship.
  6. Gentle – I am drawn to people who have enough finesse to say what needs to be said while still protecting the feelings that need to be protected. I am so not there yet. But better at it in my 40s than I was in my 20s. I still don’t suffer fools gladly. I do correct them with more grace.
  7. Forgiving – There’s no element of martyrdom in learning to forgive. It is a self-preservation skill. Holding on to grudges is like squeezing a machete in a bear hug. You’re the one that gets sliced up.
  8. Curious– Without curious people, the “West Coast” would still refer to the Cliffs of Dover. You sure wouldn’t be reading a blog written on a fancy typing machine and sent across a series of tubes.
  9. Silly – Not all the time, of course. But I am prone to intermittent bouts of laughter, usually at  my own expense. It’s more fun that way.
  10. Redeemed — I borrow this from another friend who answered that original late-night post. I claim my own flaws, but credit anything good about me to the knowledge that I have been blessed in no small measure by the limitless grace of God, and I owe it to him to extend grace in return.

Those are my ten words. But I want to hear yours. Leave them in the comments, or better yet, blog it and leave a link in the comments. If you tweet a link, pop on a #10words hashtag. I know, I’m bossy, but also nosy and want to be able to find your list.

12 Responses to “10 Words”

  1. queenofhaddock July 20, 2009 at 5:49 pm #

    This is totally going on my blog to-write list! I loved this post.

  2. ingrid July 21, 2009 at 9:54 am #

    I wish I could say….no problem I can whip a post out but this is one I would need to dwell on and am not certain I would care to share. One of my flaws is holding everthing inside and struggling to share more “about me”. I like to think I’m getting better and have shared more with you than I have on my blog.

  3. platosnemesis July 21, 2009 at 9:32 pm #

    Hey there postal – I took your advice and blogged. Thanks for the inspiration! Here’s to the puzzled dog . . . http://www.platosnemesis.com

  4. Elle July 22, 2009 at 11:27 am #

    Another inspiring post. And will require much thought from me, for my own 10 words.

  5. Jane July 23, 2009 at 9:33 am #

    Dawn, did we ever talk about that Marianne Williamson quote? It’s always been one of my favorites.

  6. ShelleyBakes July 23, 2009 at 8:38 pm #

    very, very cool … I love the word “unafraid.” I love it so much that I have the Chinese character for “strength” tattooed on my big toe. (Then again, it could mean crispy duck and I wouldn’t know …) but “unafraid” was what I was going for.

  7. RJ Flamingo July 25, 2009 at 8:26 am #

    That’s a great list, you’ve got there – very insightful. It took me some time, but I’ve come up with my list and posted it on my blog, too. Not all-inclusive, by any means… Thanks for a thought-provoking exercise!

  8. countrygirl July 27, 2009 at 4:00 am #

    Hey there, I love your wit and charm, thanks for the inspiration, I got linked to you from Elle and already posted my list of ten, stop by sometime!
    Looking forward to following your blog,

  9. Lan August 6, 2009 at 12:05 pm #

    hello. i came across this post from Elle and i am positively in love with this exercise. thank you.


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