Collections of words that stir the soul in some way. These may be in the form of encouragement, affirmation or advice.
Sourced from people, books, film.
This week I turned 32. So in the spirit of celebrating my love of words, I’ve put together 32 pieces of personal Word Love. These words have touched me in some way, helped me do better, or just keep going in this journey called My Life.
Here they are in no particular order.
1. “Pleeeease dahling, try not to have intercourse before you are married. And if you can’t wait zaat long, please svweetheart, make sure zee boy wears a condom.”
Credit: My Oma. (When I was 15 years old. During the Home & Away ad break.)
2. “You get out of life what you put in. It’s that simple.
Credit: Mrs Carolyn Kelly, my Grade 2 teacher.
3. “Breast-feed or don’t breast-feed, but don’t you dare take your frustration out on this baby.”
Credit: My Mum. (Advice given during the pain of mastitis, lack of sleep and loss of perspective. Thank God mum was there to guide me through it.)
4. “If you love him viz your whole heart, zen I know you’ve made the right decision.”
Credit: My Oma. (Upon telling her I was engaged.)
5. “You have such a beautiful smile. I hope you never lose it.”
Credit: The cook at our Grade 6 camp. It was the kindest compliment from a stranger I’d ever received.
6. “Kate. Look at me. TRUST. “
Credit: My midwife, Lynne Pyke. (During that moment in labour where I thought I’d die with the baby inside me. Trust is a word I’ve cherished ever since.)
7. “I learnt the truth at 17, that love was just for beauty queens.”
Credit: Janis Ian — At Seventeen song lyrics. (I hear these lyrics everytime I open the paper to see a pretty young WAG instantly get her own newspaper column.)
8. “[Human lives] are composed like music. Guided by his sense of beauty, an individual transforms a fortuitous occurrence into a motif, which then assumes a permanent place in the composition of the individual’s life….Without realizing it, the individual com-poses his life according to the laws of beauty even in times of greatest distress.”
Credit: Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being. (At 20 I fell in love with this description of human story construction. Life truly is like a song.)
9. “Don’t just teach them what the critics think. Your students want your personal interpretation of the books you teach. Trust your own analysis — you’ve got the skills.
Credit: My dad. (In a conversation during my first year of teaching.)
10. “If you can cry svweetheart, then let it all out. If you don’t you’ll get sick like Oma. I never let myself cry when I should have.”
Credit: My Oma. (She suffered from depression and often told me this when she was well.)
“Stay gold, Ponyboy…”
Credit: S.E Hinton. (I fell in love with the classic novel The Outsiders and remember bringing it with me to a football game dad took us too. #Geek. )
“You’re going to go and give that speech. Even though you don’t feel well and even though you probably won’t win. It’s not winning that’s important. It’s about following through and honouring your commitment.”
Credit: My dad. (I made it to the state final for a speaking contest. On the day of the contest I didn’t want to go because I got sick so I begged dad to get me out of it. I’m so glad he didn’t. I felt like a pro for following through.)
“Maybe this is why he’s chosen you as his mother. Because you are the perfect person to help him through this.”
Credit: My friend, Corrine. (When I was upset my little boy had developed a stutter, she knew exactly what to say.)
“Whatever you do, you’ve got to have passion. If you’ve got passion then everything will work out.”
Credit: My nanna. (I’ve always wondered what secret passions she carried. Ever since she told me to have passion I’ve wondered what she would have pursued had she been born at a different time and to a different family.)
“Don’t chase life. Just let everything come to you.”
Credit: A Dutch relative whose name I’ve forgotten. (I didn’t think it then, but now I’m wondering if she was hinting at what it really means to embody your feminine energy…)
“I lub you mummy.”
Credit: My son. (Nothing beats hearing those words, unprompted, for the first time.)
“You’re never fully dressed without a smile.”
Credit: Annie, the musical. (I heard this at five and have pretty much dismissed fashion for happiness ever since.)
“This is left. And this is right.”
Credit: My Uncle Ade. (This was useful information to learn at 4 and I’ve never forgotten it.)
A: “Mum, when I grow up I want to be your husband.”
K: “Sorry darling, I’ve already got a husband. Daddy is my husband.”
A: “Awww. But I’ve loved you for 21 years.”
Credit: My son, aged 4. (This proved the Oedipus complex is real and also that I needed to review his movie selection.)
20. “Kate, when you smile I just can’t say no to you.”
Credit: My husband, during our honeymoon period. (The smile doesn’t work quite as easily these days… I need a solid argument to back up my requests.)
“Bone by bone, hair by hair, Wild Woman comes back. Through night dreams, through events half understood and half remembered, Wild Woman comes back. She comes back through story.”
Credit: Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves. (Ever since I read this at 19 I’ve wanted to embody this Wild Woman. And every time my husband says “Kate, you are a strange person” I feel I’m getting closer.)
“You’ve got far to go Kate Lowther.”
Credit: My manager at 21. (At first I thought he meant I’ve got a lot to learn, but when he saw my tears he reassured me “I meant, you’re going to do a lot with your life, I can see it.)
“Decide to Rise.”
Credit: Danielle La Porte. (Her sermon always moves me. And when I had the pleasure of listening to her live… chills. This gem also has practical application when you’re not a morning person.)
“You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
Credit: Dr Seuss. (One of the pleasures of reading to children is discovering the simple philosophies of Dr Seuss.)
“Put the books away for a moment and just trust your gut.”
Credit: My friend, Mary. (This wise woman banned me from reading parenting books when she could see I was getting confused.)
26. “I believe if there’s any kind of God it wouldn’t be in any of us, not you or me but just this little space in between. If there’s any kind of magic in this world it must be in the attempt of understanding someone sharing something. I know, it’s almost impossible to succeed but who cares really? The answer must be in the attempt.”
Credit: Before Sunrise, 1995. (This line and that film. My thoughts exactly.)
“Don’t worry that you didn’t get it today. The sun will still rise tomorrow morning. Life will go on.”
Credit: Jack Jurica. (My maths teacher always knew how to encourage us. I never felt dumb in his class even though I struggled. What a pleasure to become his colleague many years later. I wish there were more people like him around.)
“All you need in life is a comfortable chair, a comfortable bed and a really good book.”
Credit: My mum. (When my social media feed becomes clogged with “life begins at the end of your comfort zone” quotes, I find great joy in this counter-cultural statement.)
“Creativity, like human life itself, begins in darkness.”
Credit: Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way (This book, along with Women Who Run With the Wolves, is my bible. I can’t separate writing from my spiritual path.)
- “A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.”
Credit: Maya Angelou. (I can’t imagine a world without her wisdom.)
“You’re it for me. I don’t understand you most of the time, but I love you and I always will.”
Credit: My husband.
32: “You step into an incredible warrior woman space where your vision is clear and determination is strong, and then somewhere along the way, you dilute that and make smaller plans, or doubt yourself. If you want something, hold onto that fire that you initially connect to, regardless of how unrealistic it may seem once you set it all in motion.”
Credit: My friend, Mel. (She got me. You can always spot the truth speakers in your life. I’m grateful this year I’ve found several kindred spirits).