Day 16: The Power Of Language

I love words.

I love how some words you can put together and they create a melody in the mind.

I love how talking about the whisper of the wind through fragile, curled leaves elicits a picture in my mind, and one in yours, and they are completely different.

I love how when I write “his firm, calloused hand gently traced the outline of my face and I melted into his touch,” my body warms and I revisit a feeling that holds a special place in my heart.

Words can be powerful. Words paint pictures, tell stories. They have the ability to elevate humanity or bring it to its knees. Words are also meaningless. A series of letters put together, sounds that are appealing to the human ear. Words are capsules. At their simplest they are a few letters that represent something. At their most complex they are containers for emotions, for energy, for various interpretations and perspectives.

Words. Have. Power. …. but only as much as we give them. And how do we do that, we give them energy. The speaker or writer puts energy into them, the reader or interpreter, input their own energy into them. Those energies merge and intersect in a human dance that we know as communication.

But what about when our words work against us?

I talk about the concept of highest energy wins here. The concept is simple, what you give your highest energy to will win. If I am sad and focus on all the reasons I have to be sad, I will be stuck there. If I am focused on finding problems and not solutions, problems will abound. If I focus on all of the ways the world supports me and my goals, that is what I will find. This one, for as basic as it is, is still a concept that I have to put conscious effort into. I KNOW I can shift my energy and I can see HOW to shift it but sometimes I simply … don’t. There is less effort required to maintain my current low vibration than there is needed to elevate it… but that’s a post for another day.

I grew up in a family where there wasn’t a ton of positivity. There were mental health issues, serious depression, a lot of fear and a lot of anger. Conflict resolution usually meant someone was yelling and someone was crying, and if that didn’t work, the best defense was silence. I learned really really well how to be silent. When I was able to gain independence and leave, I was out the door. I had a brief stint back at home in my 20s and nothing had changed, and still hasn’t. Looking back through our family it is the same pattern. No one is really open to having the hard conversations. Relationships are built on hiding one’s needs and wants in an effort to be the least offensive to the one who gets the most easily offended (the highest energy being victimization usually) in an effort to have some sort of rocky “peace.”

For me, that’s just not good enough any more. Before I could even attempt to broach those family patterns though, I had to become aware of myself and my language and the energy behind my words. This has been, for me, the most difficult part of my own development, because much of the time I don’t think before I speak. That’s not entirely true. I think before I respond to someone. I actually listen and weigh my words and how they will likely be interpreted by the listener and then I try to respond with love and compassion. And then there is how I talk about myself. That’s where thinking stops and my default settings kick in. That is when mediocrity and self distortions are fully present and where bringing myself down so that others can “rise” is alive and well. I don’t even pause most of the time. I am getting better. There is much more awareness now than ever before and sometimes I am even able to catch myself mid sentence and course correct.

It’s interesting too, my internal self talk is not really very negative. A lot of times I don’t have much chatter going on actually. There is a lot of singing in my head… but most of the time there is a lot of feeling in my heart, so breaking the pattern of negative self talk hasn’t been too difficult and now as soon as one of those thoughts enters I am really quickly able to recognize the lack of value and flip the script to something useful and empowering.

The scenarios that are harder for me are in person conversations with people. They ask, “how are you?” and it is like I pull from a few default responses, “I’m fine, thanks,” “I’m okay,” “can’t complain,” and so on. Many times now after those responses leave my mouth I am able to think “hm, am I really fine?” What defines the word fine for me, is that an accurate assessment of how I am, what does “how are you” even mean to me? Does it mean how is your heart feeling, how is your physical body… there are so many options. Sometimes I will ask for clarification from the asker, but most of the time I choose to try to craft a response based on my meaning for “how are you” which to me means, “how is your heart feeling?”

Some people are open to this and a conversation starts. Some people look at me like I have three heads, which is a great reminder that 1. some people just aren’t for me and 2. I probably could have expressed myself in a more accurate way that would have produced less confusion and a more productive conversation.

See….. it can get confusing really quickly. So I have to break this down for myself into a couple tricks/tactics.

  1. Text message can be really useful in the beginning stages of working on your words with other people. It takes an extra second, but you can read what you write before sending and make sure it is what you actually mean. This has increased my awareness SO MUCH.
  2. In person I try to take a brief pause before answering a question. If I am out eating I might wipe my mouth with my napkin first, or I might distract myself with something in the vicinity. Nothing obvious, but it is a way to just pause for a second and evaluate my feelings and come up with a response that is actually true to me. If I am with someone I know intimately I just take really LLOOONNNGGG awkward silences until I know what I want to say. 🙂
  3. Perspectives – I have worked SO much on changing my internal perspectives and have found that focusing on that alone has created some massive shifts in my outside language. Am I fine? No, fine to me is surviving. I am thriving and in this moment I am _____ (insert emotion here). To me even being angry is “better” or at least more aware and accurate than being “fine.” Though some days when the world is a little overwhelming, “fine” is all I care to muster.
  4. Progress over perfection. I fuck my language up. A lot. And it’s okay, because I have the awareness that I am not being true to myself and I am able to pat myself on the back for that recognition and then alter the behavior moving forward. Sometimes it means I repeat myself a couple times until I get it right, but most of the time if I take a second to feel into my heart I am much better able to articulate myself.

It can seem like a lot of work sometimes, and it is. It is babysitting an adult who isn’t behaving how you want them to behave and it is retraining thought patterns, displacing the negative with positive. That stuff all takes time. Just like working out at the gym, if you continue to do the work, you WILL see the results. You just have to keep going.

For now though, I am thankful for written word. For the chance to express myself in my own authentic way, pouring my heart out through my fingers and onto my keys to create dialogue that represents the core of who I am. And I know, if I keep going my spoken language will follow. ❤ ❤

** This is where I put my plug in for my buddy Mike Kemski and his PowerLife Highest Energy Wins Challenge which starts January 6th.

I started working with Mike almost a year ago but if I am honest with myself I really only truly started applying his principles (that I learned in one of his challenges) about 60 days ago. He tells you if you give is a solid 60-90 day effort big changes will happen and he is right.

I focused on a target of physical fitness since I needed something that would build some confidence about my ability to use his principles and to see if they would work for me (which they did, and they work for anyone as they are universal laws). In the last 2 months my energy has increased at least 2 fold, I have dropped weight and put on muscle. I am definitely more physically fit. I am also way more confident in how I look, in my strength and in myself and my ability to reach goals. I can look at myself without cringing and it has less to do with what my body looks like and a lot more to do with how I am carrying myself and my own personal satisfaction with my achievements. I have also opened doors to improving my financial situation and found motivation to create (in business) that I didn’t have before. I have met a ton of new people and have made connections and gained resources for financial and personal gains in my life. I have also become stronger in my convictions and less willing to take bullshit from people and have been able to, lovingly and compassionately place some much needed boundaries in my life. I could go on….

Mike’s steps are simple and actionable now. You will see results rapidly and you will have community support like no other. If you resonate with any of my writings and want to check out Mike’s written word, find him on Facebook. If you want to jump into some down to earth, easily accessible (for any level/income/goal) life principles with guidance and clarity, join his challenge. The link is here: https://powerlife.kartra.com/page/enroll

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