It involves the tongue, the lips, the jaw, the lungs, the glottis, and the vocal tract. It uniquely requires both hemispheres of the brain, various neurotransmitters and long-reaching nerves. It is learned, memorized and exercised with thought, intelligence and feeling.


Sometimes our speech is far more complicated than that. What we say, how we say it, and the all-important why we say what we do, is enough of a complication and social stumper–that it’s no wonder “communication is the key” to any lasting relationship. Just to formulate and execute speech requires dozens of fine-tuned actions stemming from internal and external inputs in our bodies, so it is even more important to caution ourselves when it comes to how we use that in relating to the people we are closest with. We cannot underestimate the power that dozens of seemingly harmless words or careless comments can have on a person, and we also cannot shirk the responsibility for the direction our words take us in.

The beauty is that we have the authority to choose which direction that will be. Just how it takes countless individual yet unified actions of the body to formulate speech, the countless, casual utterances of our mouths can similarly build a relationship–or destroy one. A strong foundation isn’t solidified solely in one phrase. The “I love you” or the “I do” is legitimized throughout the day according to how we use the rest our words and in what context. Even the simplest of situations, be it on the phone, in an email or a text, can provide ample opportunity to bolster a relationship if words are used to uplift and affirm–not to criticize or discourage.

It is easy to love when on display, but it’s in the quiet, private moments with those we care about that serve as the real test of a relationship. Are we using our words as intentionally as we can be? Is the majority of what we say truly a reflection of how our heart feels toward those we love? Do we need to speak up, or put our hands over our mouths? The answer lies in evaluating what we’re really saying–before the vocal tract engages…


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