V & E Words: Renewal

V&E Voice of the Voiceless Series providing the definition and etymology of keywords for the renewal of your body, mind, and spirit. Exploring the relationship between language and personal wellness. First in the series I will look at the word: Renewal.

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To become new again is not to return to the condition of what we once were; we can not turn back the clock and become children again, we cannot rebuild ourselves from nothing, but we can revitalize ourselves. 

We all have histories that help to make us who we are. Renewal of mind, body, and spirit is not a making new in the sense of replacing ourselves with a new self that is completely different from the one before, but rather giving a newness to the old: to FEEL new.

To give you a better idea of what renewal actually means I have done a bit of research on the word and it seems the key to renewal is another word: again.

Definitions of Renewal:

A) To make something new, or like new, again; to restore to the same condition as when new, young, or fresh.

B) To be spiritually reborn; to invest in or with a new and higher spiritual nature.

C) To regenerate one’s health and body or to take on a fresh mental life or to return to full strength and/or vigour.

D) To change form by growing, or to grow.

E) To recommence or to begin again.

F) To reawaken a feeling or sensation.

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Synonyms

To revive, regenerate, revitalize, reinvigorate, re-energize, restore, breathe new life into or resuscitate; to rekindle, renovate, recondition, overhaul, and rebuild.

The Etymology of Renewal:

Re itself is the Anglo-Norman  word for “again” and the word newen means to “resume, or revive”

As we see in all of the definitions and synonyms for renewal, they all contain the prefix RE meaning that renewal and everything related to it is invested in the concept of “again”

Even our best translation of the classical Latin root, renovāre to “renovate” which is to replace, repair, or improve the condition of something, with the exception of improve, contains the RE prefix.

Has any of this changed your relationship to the word? What did renewal mean to you before and what does renewal mean to you now?

1 comments on “V & E Words: Renewal”

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