We have all heard the adage – think before you talk – but how often do we get caught up in a stressful situation and find ourselves talking before we think. These two thinking and talking seem to be bonded in a powerful way such that our words create our world. We speak our lives into being. Is it possible then to change our lives by changing the way we speak? It most certainly is. Re-languaging is one of the new buzz words that simply put says to use more positive or affirmative language when you speak. This is often easier said than done.
So how do we re-language our lives – a good way to start may be to stop using phrases such as “fight against…” To make this change the first step is to decide what is the desired outcome then make a statement that affirms that condition. Instead of fighting against cancer we speak of healing cancer. Often words and phrases like “fight against”, “terror”, “war”, are used commonly in the media to sensationalize already tragic situations. They serve to build and sustain fear rather than love, peace and charity.
The process of re-languaging requires re-thinking. To do this we must do more than think before we talk, we must recognize and understand the effect and power of our words, especially when combined with our emotions. Our words carry great creative power for both positive and negative outcomes. One way I suggest to start the process of re-languaging and re-thinking is spend time in reflection. Take a few minutes at the end of each day, or at the end of a meeting and reflect on your conversation both the positive and negative. Was there something that could have been said in a more positive or up-lifting manner? It doesn’t matter if you just lost it because you were angry. Think about what you said not the other person and see yourself, even hear yourself saying it differently in words, tone of voice and emotion. Try it for one week and pay attention to how you feel. As you go through your days make a conscious effort to re-language. Rather than say to a child “don’t do that!” say instead, I would like you to do this – be specific. Understand the “why” behind your demand. You may even choose not to make the demand especially if you realize that the main objective is control. Re-language and re-think; and as you reflect the process will become easier over time.
Contributed by Melena Simmons