You are like a goldfish in a tank full of water made of words
“ Words can only take you so far. You need emotion, actions and present experience to help you to open your eyes to who you can become.”
Your brain is a word machine. Your mind thinks in pictures, it is saturated with emotions, body sensations and ideas that create the internal, private landscape of what it means to be you.
You and I use words in a way that can feel like our entire world is made of words.
We are immersed in words. We are like a goldfish in a tank full of water made of words. You may use a lot of words or you may say few words, you may use big words or swear words or beautiful words or inspiring words.
The words we use to describe reality feel like they are reality, but words themselves are not reality.
Here is an example: Get your journal and write all of the words that you can dream of to describe who you are, your experience, your history, your reality. Then close your journal, get up and go somewhere else. Now ask yourself, what just happened?
You put a lot of work into your words, a lot of meaning. And then you left your words behind. Your words didn’t get up and walk around, they are stitched onto the page.
The words you just used to describe you, they are not you.
How far will your words take you?
When we describe our mental health, we might say “I am depressed” to describe our sad, low, troubled, lifeless or careless moods. Inside we feel many emotions, we have many thoughts and we also have many senses. But one word, “Depressed” sums it all up?
Can one word really describe all of who you are, all that you feel, and all that you think?
“Do you really think big emotions come from big words?” Ernest Hemmingway
You may use “depressed” to describe yourself, or you may use other words, like “addict,” “junkie,”codependent,” “anxious” or “victim.” Remember that the words you use to describe you, they are just the water, they are not you.
If you are happy with your words, keep them. But if your words seem to shrink your world, limit how you see yourself or keep you stuck, then here are a few things you can think about.
You don’t have to try and eliminate these words or any other words from your life. If you try to fight them, or get mad at yourself for using them, chances are the words will just hang on even harder.
Don’t try to change your words, just listen. Just be aware, pay attention. You might be surprised what you notice when you pay attention.
Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 in this series.
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Keep it Real
Photo by DaDongMan