ter·rif·ic

"God placed the best things in life on the other side of terror." -Will Smith

When I think of overcoming terror, I think of the word terrific. And more recently I wondered how such a word with "terror" in its root could be used to describe something extremely good. So I looked it up and confirmed that it, in fact, has two extremely opposite meanings. 

terrific.001.png

Apparently, the word once only referred to something causing fear or terror, something frightful. But sometime during the late 1800s (according to the internet which is always truthful and accurate), the meaning of the word evolved to refer to something extremely good or of excellence. 

Of course, this is not the first time that a semantic change has happened in the English language. We tend to alter our language often as we validate colloquialisms by adding them to the English dictionary, create new verbs with innovations in technology, and continue to reimagine the parameters of literary excellence. 

However, this word [terrific] made me ask myself a question. If our perspective can change the very definition of words, then how much more power do we have to redefine our circumstances?

I recently heard author Eckhart Tolle say that instead of looking at our circumstances as something that we bring on ourselves as some sort of reward or punishment for past decisions, we should treat our circumstances - good or bad - as if we had chosen them ourselves. That way there is no anxiety or resentment in the moment; instead, there is only a search for the lesson that we know will come from it. 

Roxanne