Words Matter;"You always"

Change your language // Change your life 

By David Wizman

“You can’t do anything right, you can’t even make me happy”

“You made me look stupid. It’s all your fault I’m not where I want to be.”

“Katherines husband took her on a vacation to the Bahamas, must be nice..”

Sound familiar? 

For many relationships (intimate and platonic), the gap in our ability to relate and be empathetic lies in our ability to accurately communicate our desired message. We’ve all experienced it; arguments about money, disconnect in our relationships, and elevated emotions causing words to be said we later regret. Even when our intentions originate from a genuine place, it’s easy to allow our emotional escalation dictate our words and skew our language in the process. 

When we change our words however, we change our lives, and nowhere is this more accurately depicted than in the micro transactions of our day to day lives. Similarly, when we revert back to our own place of empathy, we allow ourselves to take our freedom back. 

Taking Responsibility  

Common language I frequently hear in my day-to-day life is as follows; “you made me feel humiliated”, “they made me so happy”, “she made me so angry” and on and on and on. 

Let me establish a widely forgotten concept; nobody can MAKE you feel a certain way. I’ll repeat that again, It is absolutely impossible for somebody to MAKE you feel things. Attempts can be made to influence our emotions, but ultimately we are the pilots of our lives and we alone associate meaning to the events within our environment. 

When we operate under the pretence that others can “make” us feel any given emotion – whether interpreted as positive or negative -we inherently forfeit the power we seize over our own emotions, perceptions, and lives. 

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”

-Pema Chödrön​

Compassion & Perception

You know those voices in our heads that filter out possibilities? I like to refer to those as the angels and demons on our shoulders. Offering criticism, judgment, and exposing faults. Reside on one shoulder, while on the other; presenting humility, empathy, and encouraging compassion. 

The way we position ourselves in perceiving the evens in our lives will ultimately be the framework in our forthcoming response. 

In the words of Tony Robbins “where attention goes, energy flows”. And that applies especially true towards our perception amidst the continuous flow of events within our own lives. We can either choose to feed our energy into a pessimistic and negative spiral of thought, or, encourage a paradigm shift in our thinking and employ compassion and understanding. 

An example I most often have great empathy towards are more dynamic drivers who sit behind a slower moving vehicle and honk in irritation rather than switch lanes. What most of us fail to consider is the potential of the slower driver being someone our grandparents age; delayed response time, higher anxiety, and overall less confident on the road.

Where we ultimately get lost is the power we seize in every situation- we just as easily could have switched lanes as we could have taken a moment to consider our forthcoming perspectives and emotions before presenting our words within a dispute.

There’s a liberation that takes place when we recognize the degree of control we possess over our own thoughts, feelings, and perceptions- and in turn, employing disproportionate levels of empathy, humility and compassion.

In Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly, she quotes Pema Chödrön in saying;

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”

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