We talked about language and how the words we use to talk to ourselves – and others – shape our lives.
Now, I’ve always considered myself to be an optimist (despite the title of this blog and my recent circumstances). To learn that perhaps my language has been adversely affecting my life was a bit of a shock. It’s somewhat like going to Weight Watchers, thinking you eat healthy meals regularly, only to discover that you don’t get enough of the basics – water, veggies and fruit.Apparently, one of the things I say is ‘but, the thing is’ and then I justify why something isn’t possible or wrong, or why I’ve wriggled out of something. I noticed I use ‘but’ a lot in my writing, and I’ve been consciously trying to curb that trend;
I’ve tried to be more cognisant of the words I use to talk to myself and others as well. I realised I do put myself down quite a bit, under the guise of self-depreciating humour or some sort of misguided modesty. Why can’t I acknowledge my talents, abilities, skills and goodness? Why do I downplay my accomplishments to myself and others? Is it a fear of being ‘un-lady-like’? Or perhaps, I was told to stop bragging, when I would share stories of my life going well. Even though I know some of the things I said were just matter of fact, sometimes I would brag, out of a need to show that the poor, not-so-little, Hungarian girl, from a modest background was doing okay in this big, bad scary world.Sometimes, I think my words are about not needing to be the centre of attention all of the time. I know too many people who need the attention focused on them for one reason or another. Those people irritate and frustrate me. I don’t need to be the star of every event, and I certainly don’t need to share every drama. Perhaps, I’ve taken it too far and stopped sharing my thoughts and feelings – even in my personal life. I’ve downplayed my emotional and physical pain – sometimes considerably and to my own peril. (I’ve even downplayed my emotional agony on this blog, so even you - mostly complete strangers – don’t know how dark my world can become). Perhaps this repression of negative emotion had a role in creating the complete absence of positive emotion.
Of course, there is an upside to all of this. Now that I’ve admitted I have a problem with my mental and physical health, I’ve been able to take steps to remedy the situation. Obviously, I now see my psychologist, but I’ve also booked an appointment to go to the pain clinic to learn how to cope with my physical pain as well. (I’ve always treated my headaches as ‘background’ pain; now I’ll be able to address the issue head-on).My homework assignment for the next couple of weeks:
- Continue to breathe, focusing not only on the intake of breath, but the exhale.
- Remind myself of my affirmation: (inhale) I embrace the now; (exhale) I let go of the past.
- Watch what I say. Words are affirmations, and they shape and become my reality.
- Write more. Write more. Write more.
‘Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Gotta kick at the darkness ‘til it bleeds daylight.’
– Bruce Cockburn