Monday, March 24, 2014

The weight of words

Everyday I read several things. In my course of study I include mainstream literature, spiritual essays, new age material, translated ancient texts and blogs, among other things. Many of the readings I come across teach me something, they make me think. Some are very inviting. Some are quite confusing. Those that speak to me the most tend to be written in simple prose. These texts comfort, create curiosity, and invite to further reading. This is what words have the power to do. In spoken language, the weight of words has a similar effect.

Anyone who has met me knows I am no prude, especially when it comes to language. I can make grown men blush. I have learned, though, that just because I have a talent for foul language, I don't have to exercise it all the time. There is a time and a place for everything and a way of communicating certain messages in a connatural way. In matters of spirituality, especially, the words we use become conductors.

I recently read a few entries of a spiritual teacher and therapist who, trying to give therapy and spirituality a twist, wrote some of my favorite dirty words in her social media entries...and missed the mark. In our culture, certain words have a connotation that are evocative of attack, confrontation, disregard, resistance, vulgarity, anger and attitudes of selfishness and brattiness. Words have a charge–as in an energy charge–and sway the air between us, affecting those who are reading us, in conversation with us and our collective selves with positive or negative energy. Words have a heaviness to them. Words establish a mood. Words create an environment. The words we use to say anything can deliver our message or put defenses up. The words we use can enlarge or diminish our capacity to reach others with our message, they can strengthen or weaken our connection. In this writer's entries, she came across as having a limited capacity to teach–unaware, uncreative and inexperienced. I have a feeling that is not the case, but it is the heft left by the words she chose. Her choice of words prevent others from taking her seriously, from listening to her message.

Let us use our words as a medium for uplifting each other. Let us choose those words that will build us up and invite us into reflection and conversation. Let us be creative when we write or speak. The words we choose can be a burden, separating us, or they can be what holds us together, allowing us to understand each other and share what we learn along the way.

No comments:

Post a Comment