Henrietta Lukemeyer was an elderly lady who lived down the hill from my childhood home in Indiana. She rarely stopped by to say hello to my mom, but when she did I remember her positive energy and politeness. She always wore a smile and smelled like fresh flowers. Sometimes she sold Avon products door to door, so I’m sure mom would give her a couple of dollars for some makeup or a small bottle of perfume.
Although I was only five or six at the time, she always spoke to me respectfully like I was twenty-five. As I stood in awe of her delightful presence, I’ll never forget when she looked at me confidently and said, “One of these days, Michael, you are going to have your own department store. There will be a huge sign on top of the building that will say, ‘Michaels.’”
Of course mom would beam when anyone spoke affectionately to her only adopted son. “Did you hear that, Michael?’’ Mom jumped in. “Would you like to own your own store?”
I was too young to comprehend Henrietta’s vision, and the name ‘Michaels’ has now been reserved for a popular arts and crafts store. But I still remember the possibility of taking control of my destiny. Mom never let me forget that encounter and always found a way to bring it up in conversations throughout my teenage years. I could never envision the contents of the store, but if I closed my eyes I could recall a three-story building with my name emblazoned on top.
Henrietta has long passed, but I still remember her kind eyes that gazed into mine as I stood before her. She spoke to me not as a child, but with adult conviction. Whether or not Henrietta realized her prophecy, her words were a measurable and lasting force. Although never captured in a test tube or recorded on a digital device, on that warm, summer day, Henrietta’s loving words of encouragement were transported from her lips to my brain.
Henrietta spoke with belief. Mom always said I could accomplish anything I set my mind to. But the most important thing to alter and create our reality is that WE believe.
Today I own a jewelry store. It is not three stories high and my name does not flash from the rooftop. But I can’t help but wonder what would be my destiny if I did not hold Henrietta’s prediction of unlimited possibility in my brain.
There is no doubt that words are powerful. They are measurable. They are living things. We always remember positive words that are written or spoken to us. They encourage us, inspire us, and even heal us. And if we believe them, they can transform our surroundings right before our eyes.
My main thought is that we must be aware of the words we speak to ourselves and others- and HOW we speak those words. When we hold a dream in our head, and dwell on it like it has already happened, we will then be able to hold that dream in our hands.