Choosing Positive Words

I was recently able to have a sleep-over with my sister queen, Farabe’! Through the storytelling and laughter, we were also able to talk about some difficult topics. Specifically, we discussed the power of people’s words and both the positive and negative effect they have had on us.

Over the last few years, I have come to realize that with success and achievement also come the haters! You would think that I would have anticipated this whenever I won the Miss International crown, but I tried to have faith in thinking that I would have everyone’s full support. So you can only imagine how I felt when I found out that there were people who claimed to be on “Team Elise” but did not really have my best interests at heart. It was tempting to get discouraged and think “What did I do to them?” or “What could I have done to make them believe in me?”. But then I remembered a research study that I once read. They found that when a person received 10 comments (9 positive and 1 negative), they would spend most of their time thinking about the 10% of negative comments instead of the 90% of positive ones. Here I was dwelling on the negative comments that I received instead of thinking about all the wonderful messages, emails and texts that have flooded my inbox these last few weeks. I also reminded myself that not everyone is going to support me in my endeavors and that is ok. But I do have an amazing support system filled with family, friends and sister queens who have my back no matter what! God gives us our support system to lift us when our spirits are down!

I say all of this as a reminder to all of us, including myself, that our words have the power to encourage us, but they also have the power to tear someone down. When you talk to others, or about others, think about whether your words will enhance someone else’s life or if they will be destructive.

One of my favorite Christian bands, For King and Country, wrote a song entitled “Light It Up”. The song was actually written for the band’s friend who suffers from depression (so if you know someone with depression, pass this song along to them!). As I was listening to the lyrics, there was a part of the chorus that I thought was applicable to my blog. They sing:

“Light it up and let it go, Don’t you see that you are not alone!”

In my own way of interpreting this song, I think it encourages us to use our words to glorify God and brighten people’s spirits, let go of the negative words that people try to send our way, and remember that we are not alone!

Let’s continue to build each other up!

All my love,

Elise Banks
Miss International 2015


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