christine alexis virgins of the screen.

I’ve noticed in social media there are a lot of people who claim to be “positive” people and all for spreading “happiness” and “love,” while throwing around words that are the opposite.

Words Block Our Progress - Are you hurting yourself with your words?

It makes me cringe.

I think some of it is trying to be, well, “hip” with the “kids” these days. Maybe it’s an attempt to appeal to broader culture. Maybe it’s just they didn’t realize how important words are to shaping reality, and they didn’t realize that using a word like “bad-ass” doesn’t sit well with the subconscious.

I mean, if you want to be loving, how can you be a “bad” “ass?”

These words are the opposite of “good” and they dehumanize, calling a person a donkey (or a body part!). When someone uses words like this, it sends mixed messages to the subconscious mind. It’s not serving anyone to use these words immediately after saying someone has inherent worth – or is enough.

These ideas contradict one another.

And then people wonder why they haven’t cleared out their unworthy story!

Because this is such a misunderstood part of mindset creation, it seems we could all do with a reminder of the importance of language (as well as choosing good words) and how to clean it up.

Cleaning Up Our Words

  1. Start by purging vocabulary that feels negative. When you say a word, you’ll find a slight tightening in your gut when a word is negative. Your throat may constrict. That means you shouldn’t say it.

  2. If you would typically use a word that dehumanizes (i.e. comparing a person to an animal, monster etc), find a better word and focus on the action. I’ve talked about this before here.

  3. Your subconscious mind doesn’t distinguish meanings of words in the same way as the conscious mind. “Junkie” “bad-ass” and “sick” are not words you should ever use to refer to yourself or others.

  4. Your goal with your words should always be to uplift yourself and others. If you’re trying to prove something, to be “cool,” or “funny,” over showing love, you have missed the mark.

  5. You can still be friends with people who haven’t mastered these things – focus on their intent, and gently change the frame of the conversation (use different words to convey the same intent). If however, the person’s words steer you off your path, you may need to spend less time with them.

  6. Find teachers and communities who understand the importance of language. If you are following someone who casually throws around negative words, it is unlikely for such a person to sufficiently guide you toward greater love, peace, and joy. That said, different teachers may be beneficial at different places in your journey. When you are starting out, such a teacher may be okay. As you advance however, you will need someone with more precise word usage.

I know this takes commitment and intention because we are surrounded with people who throw their words around carelessly. I used to be careless myself – not recognizing what I was doing. Sometimes I still slip up (to be completely honest!).

Once I realized what I was doing, I made a number of changes.

I have a strict policy for my social feeds now – I never share or like something that doesn’t follow my principles for language usage. I focus on solution oriented news-stories (there are many!). I lift up creatives working to develop conversations on complex issues (this is why I have the Intentional Writer series – to help others find literature with positive social intent!).

There are times when I will look at picture quotes on Instagram or Twitter in hope for genuine positivity and love, only to be disappointed. Rather than focusing on it, I let them go, as though they didn’t exist. It is my hope that more people will become sensitive to their words – to the words of others – and will focus on sharing and creating things that highlight love, increase our humanity, and further species progress.

I follow the steps outlined above. I reframe things often with other people – sometimes I completely change topics. What I do depends on the conversation and whether the other person will understand what I am doing or not (sometimes people will get stuck on an idea and if this happens, it’s easier to shift the conversation away from a topic that feeds their negative word cycle).

Most people want more good in their lives – they want more love, but it’s hard for many people to connect that want with the words we use throughout our days.

The Challenge

This week, make an effort to shift your words. Focus on ideas that are loving. Purge name-calling from your vocabulary – whether it’s for celebrities, your neighbor, or an anonymous online stranger. If we all did this – and committed to doing this on a daily basis – the world would be a much more loving place.

Taking the challenge? Leave a comment below and let me know! Let’s encourage one another!

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Words Block Our Progress
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