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Watch What You Say To Me

Posted Jun 27 2008 4:09pm

watch what you say to me

(Photo credit:procsilason Flickr)

On my site, I frequently talk about the need to have positive thoughts. As a result, you may begin to believe that what is in the mind is all that is required for manifestations to occur. Well…..it is not just your thoughts that count. The words you say also play a part. I came across this quote from a Buddhist scripture book recently…

The thought manifests as the word,

The word manifests as the deed,

The deed develops into the habit,

And the habit hardens into character.

So watch the thought and its way with care,

And let it spring from love

Born out of concern for all beings.

In the movie,You Can Heal Your Lifeby Louis Hay, she objected to the use of the phrase “kill two birds with one stone”. Most of us would have accepted this phrase as a popular way of expressing the idea of multi-tasking. But not Louis. She felt that there are better alternatives to use words in the expression of the same idea. There was no need to use words that carry negative vibes.

Your Daily Words

So what are the words that you use in your everyday speech? If you have not been mindful over your speech, my question here would have drawn a blank look from you. So let’s see if you can identify with these situations -

Do you remember cursing and swearing at other drivers often while in your car?

Do you say hurtful things to your partner before leaving for work?

Do you criticise others about their way of life?

Do you often use 4-letter words in your speech?

The questions here are not intended to imply that you are no good. If anything, I have also been extremely guilty and can see myself in these scenerios at some point or another in my life.

I am also not about to repeat the lyrics to the rap song of “Watch What You Say To Me” here due to its use of negative words; but I can assure you that the threat coming out from the song on being watchful over what you say, sounds omninous.

Words Carry Emotional Content

In NLP terms, there is a neuro association with words that are being used. Let’s consider if there is a difference between this…..

“I feel so hopeless. I am in utter despair. It feels as if I am in a bottomless pit now. There is no getting out. *Groan* Fate has dealt a cruel blow on me. I have got no one to turn to. Everyone is against me. Even my own family. I cannot see any meaning in carrying on living. I am sorry that I let everyone down. I am worthless!”

as compared to….

“I can’t wait to get started! Life is now exciting, presenting so many opportunities before me. I feel as if I have gotten far more options than I can handle. I am not complaining. Instead, I feel grateful, energized and empowered. My dreams are definitely coming true!”

Don’t you find that the second paragraph is more uplifting than the first? The choice of words differ and they convey different emotional content. If they are also used in an emphatic manner, they carry a greater impact.

You can’t help but be influenced by words. In fact, you find that those with a negative attitude tend to use emotionally draining words. You pick up negative vibes through these words and cannot help but feel terrible too. After a while, you may find yourself avoiding these people.

Conversely, you feel more charged with positive energy when you are around people who use more uplifting words. These people tend to be vibrant, passionate and joyous. They are seldom sad. Being around them puts you on a vibrational high.

Differences in Emotional Content

While words first start with a thought, and that you should change the thought to make a change to what you feel, the repeated use of a word, which carry emotional content, can condition you to feel in a certain direction as well.

just words

(Photo credit:powerbooktranceon Flickr)

Just think about these negative words:

 

“Stress”.If you repeatedly use the word “stress”, then by the law of attraction, you will start to attract all kinds of stressful situations. You may not realise it but if you reflect carefully, your stress can manifest in many forms and through different channels. For instance, you may face stress in your job, home, neighbourhood or any social groups that you join. In your job alone, you may have trouble working well with your boss, experience difficulties in handling customers or fulfilling your sales goals. At home, you are stressed over the lack of healthy communication with your spouse, your inability to reach out to your kids or your frustrations over your mountain of debt. Your neighbours and friends give you a hard time too.

“Depressed”.You can’t help responding that you are “depressed” everytime when someone asks how you’re doing. It is important to realise that the word “depressed” carries a higher emotional content than “sad”. Or perhaps, you prefer to use “depressed” over “sad” while you wallow in self pity. Unfortunately, the more negative you feel, the more your depression will become a reality.

“Furious”.You are always “furious” with this or that, often flying off into a rage. On the other hand, if you are “annoyed”, your reactions are likely to be more muted as compared to “furious”. The situations that you attract in relation to being “annoyed” also tend to be less of a total disaster.

In the use of profanities, it is also crucial to note that the frequent use of such words carry a negative vibe. It’s best that you consider your choice of these words or the frequency in which you use them, if you intend to be more energy conscious. I recently heard some friends discussing how best to manifest what they want. However, in the same conversation, they were also using a lot of profanities when they went on to sharing about office politics.

Be Mindful Over What You Say

Admittedly, we tend not to be mindful especially in heated arguments. During the firing exchange, we are more apt to saying unkind words for our fragile egos are at stake. But unkind words do not lead to quick resolution. Calling names in disparaging tones are also distasteful. And really, does winning the argument bring in glory? When we have no control over what we say, we can inflict a lot of hurt, anger and harm on another person.

The point is that we cannot get to the root of the matter when we use heated words. Wisdom only arises when we are in a state of calm. When we speak slowly, we are also in better control of our own emotions.

I always remember this phrase which is taught to be in an options trading workshop that I attended some years back: when emotions go up, intelligence comes down. It is easy to get carried away by emotions. We act foolishly and may even regret what we say unnecessarily to our partners, friends or parents.

When you cultivate the habit of being mindful of you say, then you become better at distinguishing those that annoy and those that make people happy. Through an increased awareness, you will be able to consider the value of all your thoughts, words or actions.

What Constitutes Wrong Speech

Words make up speech. In the book that I was reading, the Buddha spoke of 4 kinds of wrong speech:

1. Lying.A person who goes to court tries to save his own skin by lying about what happened.

2. Backbiting.Backbiting is often practised in the office or in an area of competition, to get ahead.

3. Harsh Speech.The words spoken are rule and bitter for others to hear. You berate others for the small mistakes that they commit but keep silent when they have done a good deed.

4. Idle Babbling.The speech is unrestraint, thoughtless and does not add value.

He said that suffering often results due to wrong speech, caused by lies, unjust speech, caustic remarks, gossip and unfounded rumors. Hence, he made the practice of right speech the first principle of ethical conduct in the Eightfold path. All the principles are incidentally related to bringing about mental purification.

“Much talking is a source of danger,

Through silence misfortune is avoided,

The talkative parror in a cage is shut,

While birds that cannot talk fly freely,”

— Tibetian Yogi

Learn The Art of Skilful Speech

While it is true that some of us can get away with lies, there is no denying that more of us suffer from the consequences of wrong choice of words. It is important that we learn the art of skilful speech.

1. Think first before you speak.While speech appears to be instinctive and that we have no control over what we say, it is possible to become more aware first. In situations of anger, frustration and worry, it will be good if you can analyse your thoughts and intentions before saying anything. Ask for a time out when you observe that the situation you are in, is about to get explosive. The practice of skillful speech is to not only consider what to say, but why, when, where and how to say it.

2. Choose Your Words.Work towards using words with less emotional content. Admittedly, it would be inappropriate to use a positive word when you are really feeling negative. But what you can do is to substitute a word with one with less emotional content. For instance, instead of saying that “I’m depressed”, you can say “I’m feeling down”.

You may argue that this may tantamount to not meaning what you really feel. My suggestion is that you work on reducing your emotions also at the same time. The use ofEFTis extremely useful at this stage.

Here are some examples of what you can say:

Existing: I hate this!

New: I prefer something else.

Existing: I’m anxious.

New: I need to redirect my energy.

Existing: I’m angry.

New: I’m frustrated.

Existing: I feel overwhelmed.

New: I can do with some help.

Existing: *F__* off! I’m *p__*!!

New: I feel upset.

Existing: I feel upset.

New: I’m disappointed.

3. Practice. Practice. Practice.There have been several times when I have bitten my tongue, so that I can prevent myself from using the wrong choice of words. It has not been easy, even with the increased awareness. During these lapses, I get carried away by my emotions and forget to be skilful in my speech. Despite these difficulties, I believe that I have gained much benefits by being more mindful over what I say to others.

As in any habit, practice is key. Just because it seems difficult to control over what I say, I would not want to conclude that it would be impossible to practice useful speech. It’s a question of skill in “watching” my words. My aim is to be more skilful than I currently am.

The Power of Words

Politicians and anyone that assumes an authorative positions understand the power of words all too well. Consider the debate on “Just Words” that went on not too long ago between Hilary Clinton and Obama, in the political elections and Obama being accused of plagurising. Consider Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream Speech”. The words used created much impact.

There is no denying that words can break or save lives, make enemies or friends, start war or create peace. Hence,why not use them for the best purpose there is - to motivate, heal and inspire?Words that are loving, kind and compassionate can contribute to an environment of peace, happiness and harmony. The converse can only be said of negative words.

It will be useful not to overlook the energy vibes that words carry. You would not want to be crossing your fingers and hoping like crazy that the law of attraction will work for you but at the same time, be cursing and swearing at your next door neighbour for parking his car and blocking the entrance to your house.

It boils down to awareness for a start. Be conscious in the daily practice of keeping your vibrations positive byalso watching what you say. Change your choice of words to change the state of thoughts you are in.

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