Do you know the difference between these?
Political and political.
Democratic and democratic.
If you do, awesome. If you do not, research might help your understanding of many things that are NOT political. Oh…see what I did there???
HINT – one is a proper noun and the other is an adjective.
It’s easy to see how quickly we devolve into nasty public discourse by not knowing the difference or by not using them properly. It’s easier in a written format to see and understand what is being communicated, provided the words are being used correctly. Verbally, and because many listen from a position of defensiveness, it can be nearly impossible to discern the difference.
We are so busy reacting that we do not allow ourselves time to think, process and respond. There is a BIG difference between re-acting and responding.
May we be a part of the solution by opening our hearts and minds and examining our defensiveness (at the heart of which is fear and perhaps self-awareness which has not yet dawned or been coaxed to the surface).
The words we speak create our experience. When we carefully and thoughtfully choose the words we write or speak, we can make a powerful difference in what happens in our experiences. This one is often more challenging for many to understand.
This too, is a reflective process. Examining the words we use when speaking about anything can begin to crack open the awareness of the unconscious negativity that we draw into our lives. Whether expressing love, gratitude, joy or offering condolences, or expressing displeasure with something, the words can make a difference which can ripple out from us and will return to us.
One of the phrases I hear and read far too often from people who have just experienced something joyful or exciting is this: “I don’t deserve this.” My question is “Why?”
Why does one believe they do not deserve a wonderful gift or experience which has come to them? What is at the heart of that statement? Frankly, I see it as a sad commentary on their view of themselves. A simple “thank you” is always appropriate and is an expression of gratitude – a powerful honoring of the gift.
This is a topic which has many believers and critics. I can say that by changing the words I use, I have seen many differences in my life. Most of these have to do with the way I feel – about myself, my life and all of those who comprise my experiences. What is better than seeing the world through your open heart and mind?
Am I human? Oh my, yes. I have those moments of disbelief about something I see or hear. To those very close to me who know and accept me, I may express shock, surprise or even anger. And I see those emotions as an opportunity to examine yet one more trigger.
Acceptance isn’t always easy. It IS essential to a life well lived. Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” It’s easy for him to say, for his life was all about observation and examination. It’s less easy for those of us living in very challenging and complex times and holding a belief that we are merely trying to survive. Do you see those words – merely trying to survive?
We can choose to slow the pace and begin to observe ourselves, our feelings, our fears, our joys. From there we begin to examine many aspects of our lives, and we begin to heal ourselves and more easily offer our compassion to others from a full place within. And from a place of awareness and healing, we choose different words when we communicate – orally and in writing.
May we heal our wounds, and open our hearts and minds to become a part of the solution; contribute to the calming of the negative rhetoric and offer peace whenever and wherever possible.