What are words?
They appear to be one or two-dimensional manifestations of concepts, thoughts and ideas that we wish to express to one another. In their purest form, they express observations of what IS, or appears to be.
At their most basic, words are descriptive, neutral symbols. Ice cream and murder are equivalent at that level. There is no value afforded to either under such a template of communication. It is only as we add value that they shift in meaning, constantly incorporating distortions across time and space.
Over time, and with the continual growth of technology, cultural exchange and the human capacity to imagine, language has shifted to a weightier and more restrictive medium of communication.
There is so much going on beneath the surface of the words; structures that have been in place for millennia, imbued with constantly shifting and compounding value judgements. It is almost impossible to speak any words, even ones intended as ‘loving’ without potential repercussions or misunderstandings.
Dictionaries, thesauri and various other tomes have been written to define the ‘real’ meaning of the words, and these have become the authorities on how we use and express these magical concept transmitters. IF we choose to believe them…
We have moved away from the innate knowledge of how to express the essence of ourselves with the openness of authentic, integral connection. In some cases, we have turned words into weapons as dangerous as missiles and yet others into shackles.
The essence of communication is a heart connection. As we’ve shifted over time to a more rationally-guided way of being, we’ve also shifted the way language expresses our truths in the world. We have forgotten the ways of heart-speak and have become jaded by the illusions of the mind.
Consider this equation as a guideline:
(conscious) observation + (perceived) value = judgement.
Without the value, judgement falls away. Observation is pure, without the weight of valuation or appraisal. It is child-like and innocent at its core.
Think of a child moving through the world, observing life around them, before the weight of responsibility, courtesy or propriety are imposed.
They make statements about what they see, feel or want, without the burden of potential misunderstanding. If they see a person with darker skin than theirs, they may remark on it, in complete contravention of the ‘rules’ of etiquette or political correctness.
It’s in these moments they may be corrected or chastised, and taught about politeness or the need to speak ‘mindfully.’ Yet these statements from a starting point of innocent observation without value attached are not judgements, but attempts to conceptualise the ever-changing reality of the external world.
This is not to say that racism and other forms of extremism don’t exist, and are not harmful. They do, and are, and can be ingrained in children by the adults around them. It is to say, however, that words themselves can be cleansed of their potential for harm by our conscious awareness of the essence of our intention.
If we desire to express Love (whatever that means to us individually), then by opening to Love before opening our mouths, we can be assured that whatever words we choose will be in line with that.
How they are received is another matter entirely – we cannot be assured that our words are received as Love, if the receiver is not open to it. So we can release our attachment as soon as the words leave our lips.
Part of the difficulty is in the structures and ownership of our communications – many put so much stock in what they say as ‘the truth’ that they are ready to stake their lives and reputations on defending it.
They are not allowing themselves to receive the potential in the response – the other person’s essential communication. It is beneath the words, in the unspoken, unheard expressions.
The words are chosen as a kind of structural defense against possible invasion of the tender heart beneath. We have turned words into a barrier to communication instead of a gateway.
Words have become a way to further engender the separation that keeps us tied to dualistic belief systems. ‘Us and them,’ ‘positive and negative,’ ‘good and bad’ – all lead to further and further separation. Our everyday language is full of words steeped in judgement that have become a huge component of disempowerment.
The challenge is, the concepts words are designed to express are so expansive that they are immediately limited once we desire to express them. The word Love, as we understand it in this dimension, expresses only a minute fragment of the concept as it exists in the ALL. As each individual hears the word, they add their own experience or interpretation to it, so the word is imbued with further values and distortions.
This is how language becomes a weapon, and a way to diminish and enslave others. It is only through the releasing of our own attachment to the structures behind communication that we can shift to a more heart-centred way of expression. Release attachment to ownership of how and why words are used, what they mean and how they are to be received.
Be aware that when we use a label such as ‘victim’ or ‘liar,’ we immediately place a marker of separation between ourselves and another, and add weight to whatever word we choose.
It is not words themselves that have started wars and movements and ideologies, but the value imbued in the words that were used. We can deconstruct these as easily as they were created.
We can shift the energy of communication by using weightless words in all our interactions. We can receive the words of others as if they were also merely symbols, expressing concepts.
We can listen with our hearts open to the real messages, bridging the gap between unity and individual fears of separation and isolation.
*I invite you to explore the words you use in the stories you tell in my eCourse, ‘Re-writing the Story of your Life.’ It involves five-weeks of daily exercises to encourage mindfulness and self-acceptance in your communications with yourself and others.*