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I’ve gotten teased in the past due to my incessant need to make sure people are saying what they mean. “Semantics!” a friend might sarcastically say to me after I press them, “did you mean ‘always’? So that happens every single time?”
There are a lot of things we say that are supposed to be metaphorical. “I’ve told her 100 times…” will usually mean something along the lines of “I’ve told her too many times…” while “best day ever!” will mean something along the lines of “this is one of the best days of my life”.
Other times, however, we get too comfortable saying certain words due to habit of speech.
We imply extremes or lack of power of a situation. For example.
“I can’t do this” we say so many times, when the answer is “I don’t want to pick this priority over another one” or “i shouldn’t do this” when what we’re trying to say is, “I don’t want to do this as I want to abide to my responsibility to do this other thing.”
“I can’t go out because I have to do homework” ends up meaning “I want to pass this course and this is what I need to do for that”. It holds us accountable for the decisions and choices we’ve made.
Recently, I saw a friend on Facebook post the following image:
This particular person is a bit of a super hero to me because of her positive outlook in general, but particularly in regards to how she handled her cancer.
I remember hearing her say once that it did not have to be what everyone else was making it out to be. She would use words like “fun” when talking about an experience in which she had met someone while undergoing chemotherapy. No mention of the horrors of the process, just highlighting on what she had enjoyed.
I suspect she understands the power of words and how they shape our reality. Many times we talk about things that we don’t want happening, for example, but are so sure they’re going to happen, we still act self-righteous. “See? I was right. This horrible thing that I said was going to happen, happened.”
For me, one of the most empowering tools I have learned has been the acceptance that I have the power over things that before I did not think I did. Shaping my reality through my words has helped regain control over my emotions.
Today, look out for these words:
How are they being used? What is actually being said?
Take a picture representing the reality that you might change or have changed using your words.