When I was a kid, I thought my mom was fat. She always said she was, and I believed her. And I worried about it for myself too--skinny, underweight little girl that I was thought I had chubby legs instead of the bean pole legs I had. Her self-doubt filled me with self-doubt too.
The funny thing is that she wasn't really fat. I've looked at the pictures, and she was quite a beautiful woman. However, she is fat now. She prophesied her own destruction.
So yesterday, Rowena (my middle-child) asks me, "Mommy, are you fat?"
"No," I said. "Why do you ask?"
Rowena said, "Because you look a little fat."
"No," I said again, "I am not fat."
"Well, Mary (a friend of mine, name changed to protect the innocent) said she was fat," Makani jumped into the conversation. Both girls seemed very concerned about this. They were watching my face to see how I handled their questions.
It reminded me of when Makani asked me if I was old. Her grandmother had said she was too old--58 is not old--to play with her. That was four years ago, and today my mom seems much older than she really is. When she visited two weeks ago, she reminded me more of a woman in her late seventies than a woman in her early sixties. Once again, her prophecies came true.
Someone might say it is psychological. Someone else might say it is metaphysical. A Christian might quote the Bible where it says, "Life and death is in the power of the tongue." Someone else might say all of that is true. Whatever you think, words have power--power over our attitudes, power over our actions, power over our results.
If you say, "I'll never be a good writer," or "I'll never hit the best seller list," or "No one will ever read my stories," you might as well be saying, "I hope I fail."