A few weeks ago I made reference to the fact that we are creatures of words.
Our world is shaped by the words we use. But a certain few–four in particular–are more important than others in any discussion of practical wisdom. These four words influence how we interact with the people, events and situations that constitute our world and influence our decision making. These keys words are two pairs of polar opposites: yes/no and hello/goodbye.
Now I have hunch that a lot of people who are reading this right are saying to themselves, “C’mon Lloyd, this is it? These are life’s most important words, words that are typically a few of a child’s first words, words that are some of the first you learn when studying a foreign language?! You’ve got to do better than this!”
I know, it seems kind of simplistic that words that are as common place as these four are as important as any. And that mastering them, really understanding how far their roots and branches extend into our lives, is a life long chore.
They are, however, that important and here’s why. Let’s take “no” for example, the core expression of autonomy. How often over course of your life did you want to say no, want to assert yourself, and you didn’t? I’m sure it’s a lot more than you’re willing to admit. In fact, I’ll bet that one of those memories just crossed the screen of your consciousness right now as you were reading this. That’s right, that situation where you KNEW you should have said “no” and you didn’t. Some people spend their entire life never coming close to mastering this word.
And “yes” IS equally as important. How often did you say “no” to something you should have said “yes” to because it involved a risk? And, in retrospect, you know it was risk you should have taken. At the time you did what all of us do when we’ve made a mistake, we con ourselves with some elaborate justification for our decision. Underneath, however, we know the truth and, hopefully, in retrospect we can look back and admit to making the wrong choice. And in allowing ourselves a moment of existential truth, we begin to lay the groundwork for saying “yes” in the future when the cycle of experience comes back around to a similar decision.
Don’t worry, you”ll get another chance to make amends with yourself.
We’ll talk about hello and goodbye next time.
But for the moment…….as you take a deep breath…..and let the words from above …….float…..from consciousness….to a deeper place……..a place inside yourself……..that allows your conscious mind to …….pause……….relax……and allow that deeper level……..to store what you’ve read…….in a really safe place inside…..a place that contains the wisdom you’ve already acquired……..so that now…….right now…….a little bit more is available to you……..and……..effortlessly……and spontaneously……..it will pop up …..at the right time………in the right place……..or with the right person.