Words + Thoughts live
Originally published on 9-11-13
Words are everywhere. They come at as us from the TV, from the newspaper and from the radio. Media is just one medium, but there are countless others. Day to day interactions with family and friends and co-workers can be just as impactful. Over the years I have learned to be more discerning about the words I use and about the words that I let into my space, and it’s my days and nights so much happier.
Words and thoughts from TV
When Guapo and I started dating I avoided watching TV or movies where people were mean or unkind to each other. I started avoiding those subjects because I never wanted the following questions to come up, “Would you ever do that?” or “Have you ever…?” or “What would you do if…?” I didn’t want that junk, albeit fictional, entering into my subconscious, his, or ours. So we watched a lot of college football, comedy shows and happy romantic comedies. Finished were the days of “This is 40” or “The Five Year Engagement.” As funny as those types of movies seem, they’re simply negative wrapped in funny.
You’d think that when he’s not home, I’d turn it back to Real Housewives, right? Wrong. After one year of not being a regular viewer, I just can’t handle it anymore. Their voices sound like nails on chalkboard to me. I can literally feel their vile language invading my space. There are countless shows on TV where people are just down right mean to each other, there’s no value in watching it. Most times it’s like watching venom spew back and forth across the screen. “You’re a bitch! No, you’re a bitch!” This sounds extreme, I know. But once you start paying attention to how you feel AFTER you’ve finished watching an E! Entertainment News marathon, you’ll realize, it’s indifferent at best.
The other day we went to go see Woody Allen’s, Blue Jasmine. I was so pumped. I love a good movie with eye candy to boot! Forty five minutes in, I realized it was a downer! The characters were heavy and rude. I thought, “Do we stay and get our 20 bucks worth, or do we leave?” I tapped Guapo on the shoulder and he knew, he could feel it too. We left and were eating at one of our favorite hippie restaurants in no time. See ya later, Woody!
Words and thoughts from other people
About a month ago I walked into a boot repair shop in West Texas, and the owner, a lady in her mid-40s, was posted up behind a display counter. She greeted me and quickly proceeded to talk about being financially strapped and horses being slaughtered. She was clear in communicating to me just how much the world owed her. I thought, “Woah, lady. This is not the way to get me to come back here.”
There was a dark grey cloud looming over the boot shop and her negative words and vibe seemed to stick everywhere, like hot gum melted to the bottom of your shoe. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. “Thanks for the chat, see you …never.”
If someone’s talking about icky things, I try my best to exit as quickly as possible. If I can’t exit, I try to change the subject. There’s no added value to my life (or to theirs) if I’m listening to someone rehash how much paying taxes sucks or how much their ex-boyfriend sucks. I prefer the sunnier side of memory lane.
Our words and thoughts
We tell ourselves some crazy stuff. We say out loud about ourselves what we would never say about our friends. It’s like we expect ourselves to be a glossed up version of a woman. We are to have the brilliance of Tina Fey, the hotness of Beyonce, the tenderness of a pre-school teacher, oh yeah and after dark the fierceness of Rihanna. Are you kidding me? No. We (me included) can be cray, cray!
Yesterday I joked, “I haven’t gone to the grocery store! I’m not a good wife.” Or a few months ago as thoughts were bubbling up inside of me and I was resisting I said, “Maybe I’m not a good writer. Maybe I just wasn’t meant to be a writer.” Or, “I know that the pork chops I cooked for dinner aren’t the greatest, they’ll be better next time.” Or the classic, “She’s so pretty; she’s so much prettier than me.”
Thankfully, in my house, comments like that are usually cut off at the knees. “Don’t joke about that, you’re a great wife,” or “Stop. You are a good writer, but you are on a learning path,” or “There’s no self-hate in this house, we don’t allow it.” Dang! Even when I use self-deprecating humor to be funny, I get shut down! My house is better off that way.
The more we use these words, the more we tell ourselves that we are not enough, the worse off we are. Have you ever noticed that when you don’t weigh yourself every morning and you don’t obsess about the .5 pounds you’ve gained, you’re much happier (and just as hot!)
Words and thoughts are things. Be conscious of the words you use and the energy you are putting out there. Are you a glass half full kind of person, or are you a glass half empty kind of person, or are you a… gosh I wish I had a better glass kind of person? What message are your words and actions sending?
Be a positive force in the world and value your life enough to only surround yourself with the like.