The fact that we as human beings have access to the use of language; the use of words, is something we most of the time take for granted. Just as we take for granted that we can use our hands to pick something up.
While we sometimes have to ‘look for the right words’ to say something; or are aware we actually cannot find the right words to say something; we mostly use language simply the way it comes up. This is a good thing. If we had to think about every word we were to use in a sentence; even a simple exchange would take up a whole lot of time.
As such there is a whole wide range of different meanings and interpretations of words most of us are not aware of. Marketeers and advertising people are. They carefully choose their language to instill certain emotions or desires with their potential customers. Politicians also choose their secret weapon words to instill fear, hope or animosity. Yet again, as we have grown used to this being the human way to communicate; we accept most of what is being said without question. Only in extreme cases do we start to wonder…
Now apart from language being the main tool to communicate with our fellow human beings; words also play an important part in the way we perceive, i.e. communicate with ourselves and the effect this has on our personal wellbeing. When a child has been taught it is ‘no good’ or ‘should try better’ these phrases echo in the awareness of that child. When we think of ourselves as ‘stupid’ or ‘incapable’, this has an impact on who we think we are.
Such is the power of words that they can make or break somebody. Words reflect our state of mind. The way we use words on ourselves, tells a lot about who think we are. Language contains an enormous amount of meaning, humor or understatement; sources of energy we use numerous times a day, each in our very individual unique way, most of the time without being really aware of it.
Recently Caroline Myss, motivational speaker, teacher and author of ‘Anatomy of the Spirit” one of the standard must-reads on personal development as far as I am concerned, jolted me awake word-wise when she asked:
‘What would be the word you would want to live without today? Ask yourself. What word would you want to be absent in your life. Translated into my own words: What energy do you want to leave out today?
When I shared this insight with my mentor, Cees van de Kroef, he said: ‘And the next step is to replace the word you leave out by a word you invite in’.
For example, you can tell yourself to forget about the word ‘insecurity’ for today and replace it by ‘resilience’. Simply step in from of the mirror and say: ‘Today I park the word ‘insecurity’ and make way for the word ‘resilience’. Choose any word you want to shed or adopt. Play with it and observe how the energy of your experiment reflects on your day. Choose your words with care and be mindful of your language.
Ingrid Schippers, June 6, 2017
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This blog is featured as spoken end note of the Dutchbuzz edition of June 6 2017 and broadcasted on The Hague FM from 10.00 tot 11.00 pm every Tuesday or can be heard as a closing note at the end of the Dutchbuzz podcast of June 6 2017