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If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What's Your Essence?

The other day I was listening to two men talking. One was trying to describe a co-worker at their company.
"He's got red hair, wears glasses."
"Red hair, glasses?"
"You know, he works in building B."
The two men looked at each other helplessly; that was as far as their descriptive powers went.
I chuckled at their description and said, "If you were two women, you'd be describing the guy like this: 'he's about 5'10", 170 pounds, with wavy, auburn hair, high cheekbones, a strong jaw, hazel eyes, and he wears Calvin Klein sweaters and Rockport shoes."
We had a good laugh about the differences between men and women's style of physical description.
Usually when we describe the outward appearance of a person, we talk about height, hair color, job or position.
Wouldn't it be cool if we described people by capturing their inward essence? . . . . .
"I talked to George yesterday."
"You know, funny, animal-lover, compassionate.
"Oh, yeah, George. Empathetic."

Hopefully, you or I wouldn't be identified by such descriptors as crass, rude, insensitive, boorish, crabby, etc.
Wouldn't it be terrible if everyone knew you were the one being described if the single identifying word was "bossy" or "manipulative?"

My husband and I tried to come up with one single word that would best capture each of our children's inner essence. Of course, they're our children so we came up with wonderful, positive descriptors.
Kiri's words was "Intense."
Garrett's was "quicksilver."
Ian--he wasn't happy to learn our descriptor because he said the word wasn't masculine, but too bad -- was "sparkling." (We later changed the word to "ebulliant.")

It's a great discussion question. Next time you're sitting around the dinner table with family or friends, ask each other, "What one one best word that captures my inner essence?"
You'll be amazed at how similarly friends will describe you.

How would you want your inner essence described?


  1. Hi Dena -

    What a neat idea! I can see writers using this to describe their characters.

    Susan :)

  2. Thanks, Susan. I like to sit at Starbuck's or other public places to people-watch and come up with "essences" that could be incorporated in possible fitional characters.